Tsunamis in El Salvador

A total of 5 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1859 have killed 185 people in El Salvador. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in El Salvador so far reached a height of 6.3 meters. On 08/27/2012, 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 02/26/1902. A tidal wave of up to zero meters killed 185 humans and destroyed vast areas.

Other natural hazards in El Salvador:
The most severe tsunamis in the world

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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 170 years.

The largest tsunamis in El Salvador since 1859

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
08/27/2012Earthquakes in El Salvador (El Salvador-Nicaragua) with a magnitude of m0
03/09/1957Earthquakes in the United States (Andreanof Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries. A total of 2 humans died.0.50 m0
02/26/1902Earthquakes in El Salvador (El Salvador-Guatemala) with a magnitude of 7.0.0 m185
12/08/1859Earthquakes in El Salvador (El Salvador) with a magnitude of 7.0.0 m0
08/25/1859Earthquakes in El Salvador (El Salvador) with a magnitude of 6.2.0 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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