Fewer earthquake fatalities in 2005

January 14, 2006

There were fewer deaths worldwide in 2005 due to earthquakes, but almost 90,000 casualties were reported, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that nearly all of the fatalities -- 87,351 -- occurred when a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit Pakistan Oct. 8.

In 2004 -- the third-deadliest earthquake year on record -- more than 283,000 people perished in the Dec. 26 magnitude 9.0 Sumatra quake and related tsunami.

That event likely triggered a magnitude 8.7 earthquake, which struck the adjacent zone of Sumatra March 28, 2005, said officials with the U.S.G.S. The Sumatra quake killed 1,313 people and was the strongest temblor for 2005.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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