Tsunamis in Canada

A total of 11 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1903 have killed 45 people in Canada. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in Canada so far reached a height of 38 meters. On 12/04/2007, no losses of human lifes have been registered by this tsunami.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and the economy had been a tsunami on 03/28/1964.

Other natural hazards in Canada:
The most severe tsunamis in the world

Back to overview: Canada

Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes or other seismic eruptions on ground of an oceans and can cause massive tidal waves, which run with enormous force on land, causing great devastation. Especially in regions with only few tsunamis, the damage is often drastic, as the population does not expect tsunamis and thus hardly takes any protective measures. Even relatively small flood waves can lead to high losses and financial damage.

The marked positions on the map represent the most affected regions within the past 120 years.

The largest tsunamis in Canada since 1903

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
10/28/2012Earthquakes in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of m0
12/04/2007Landslide in Canada (Chehalis Lake, Chilliwack)38 m0
04/27/1975Landslide in Canada (Kitimat Inlet, British Columbia)4.1 m0
03/28/1964Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Prince William Sound, Ak) with a magnitude of 9.2. The tsunami caused damages in 5 further countries. A total of 124 humans died.9.8 m0
03/28/1963Eruption in Canada (Graham Island, British Columbia)5.5 m1
05/22/1960Earthquakes in Chile (Southern Chile) with a magnitude of 9.5. The tsunami caused damages in 13 further countries. A total of 2,226 humans died.2.1 m0
06/23/1946Earthquake, landslide in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of 7.3.9 m0
11/18/1929Earthquake, landslide in Canada (Grand Banks, Newfoundland) with a magnitude of 7.3.13 m28
05/26/1929Earthquakes in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of m0
12/06/1917Explosion in Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia)7 m16
10/20/1903Eruption in Canada (Blacklead Island, Cumberland Sound)0 m0

These evaluations are based on data from the Global Historical Tsunami Database of the National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA, and World Data Service (NGDC/WDS), doi:10.7289/V5PN93H7. Individual data have been summarized or translated.
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