The 1960 Valdivia earthquake or Great Chilean earthquake (Spanish: Gran terremoto de Chile/Valdivia) of 22 May 1960 is to date the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale. It occurred in the afternoon (19:11 GMT, 14:11 local time) and its resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
The epicenter was near Cañete (see map) some 900 km (435 miles) south of Santiago, with Temuco being the closest large city, while Valdivia was the most affected city. It caused localised tsunamis that severely battered the Chilean coast, with waves up to 25 metres (82 ft). The main tsunami raced across the Pacific Ocean and devastated Hilo, Hawaii.
Waves as high as 10.7 metres (35 ft) were recorded 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) from the epicenter, and as far away as Japan and the Philippines.