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The 8.0 Pacific quake that hit the Solomon Islands tonight should be about most powerful earthquake possible, according to seismologists' theories of earthquake cycles. And the earthquakes that rocked Tohoku, Japan in 2011, Sumatra in 2004, and Chile in 1960 — all of magnitude 9.0 or greater — should not have happened. That might mean earthquake prediction needs an overhaul, some researchers say.
All these earthquakes struck along subduction zones, where two of Earth's tectonic plates collide and one dives beneath the other.
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