The U.S. Geological Survey has reported 23 aftershocks following Friday’s 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan. What has gone largely unnoticed in recent media reports, however, is the unusual number and severity of those aftershocks.

According to the National Earthquake Information Center of the U.S. Geological Survey, 13 earthquakes ranging between 5.5 and 6.3 in magnitude on the Richter Scale have hit the already devastated and overwhelmed nation of Pakistan since Friday’s temblor.

Though aftershocks are a normal part of earthquake activity, the number and severity following Friday’s quake are unusual. WorldNetDaily reviewed the NEIC’s earthquake data since March of this year and learned that only two remotely similar examples could be found.

Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 2, six quakes hit the New Britain region of Papua New Guinea, ranging between 5.5 and 6.5 on the Richter Scale. And on April 10, six quakes hit the Mentawai region of Indonesia, ranging between 5.5 and 6.8 in magnitude.

According to the NEIC, earthquakes of 5.5 magnitude or larger are generally considered a big earthquake.

The three largest-magnitude earthquakes recorded in recent history include a 9.5-magnitude quake in Chile on May 22, 1960; a 9.2-magnitude quake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 27, 1964; and a 9.0-magnitude quake in Northern Sumatra on Dec. 26, 2004.

Additionally, the U.S. Geological Survey data indicates earthquake occurrences are increasing. In 2000, there were 22,256 recorded earthquakes worldwide. That number has steadily increased to 31,199 earthquakes in 2004.

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