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    A new study has found evidence that the largest earthquake in history may have been in Chile nearly four millennia ago. Researchers from Chile, the United Kingdom, Australia and France say this earthquake happened 3,800 years ago and was of 9.5 magnitude. It took place in the Atacama Desert, located in present-day northern Chile, and created tsunamis that affected coasts as far away as New Zealand. 

    These new findings were published in a peer-reviewed journal called Science Advances. According to the findings, the strength of the earthquake competes with the 1960 quake in Valdivia, located in southern Chile. The Valdivia quake was estimated to be a magnitude of 9.4 to 9.6. That earthquake had a rupture of 800 kilometres in length. 

    Co-author and visiting professor at the University of Southampton said “It had been thought that there could not be an event of that size in the north of the country simply because you could not get a long enough rupture, … But we have now found evidence of a rupture that’s about 1,000 kilometres long just off the Atacama Desert coast and that is massive.” 

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