Tsunami in Aleutian Islands 1957, United States

Tsunamis in the United States

In a total of 72 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1737 a total of 548 people died in the United States. Tsunamis therefore occur comparatively often in this country.

The strongest tidal wave registered in the United States so far reached a height of 524.26 meters. At this Tsunami on 07/10/1958 a total of 5 people have been killed.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and economy had been a tsunami on 04/01/1946. A tidal wave of up to 42.20 meters killed 164 humans and destroyed vast areas.

Other natural hazards in the United States:
Volcanos
Earthquake
The most severe natural disasters worldwide


Back to overview: United States

The marked positions on the map represent the most effected regions within the past 240 years.

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 largest tsunamis in the United States since 1788

DateCausemax wave heightDeathsTotal damage
10/18/2015Landslide in the United States (Icy Bay, Ak)193 m0
06/13/2013Meteorological event in the United States (Northwest Atlantic Ocean)1.8 m0
01/05/2013Earthquake in the United States (Se. Alaska, Ak) with a magnitude of 7.5.1.5 m0
10/28/2012Earthquake in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of 7.7.0.43 m1
03/11/2011Earthquake in Japan (Honshu Island) with a magnitude of 9.1. The tsunami caused damages in 11 further countries. A total of 18,434 humans died.5.4 m1
02/27/2010Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.8. The tsunami also reached French Polynesia, Chile, New Zealand, Russia. A total of 156 humans died.1.2 m0
09/29/2009Earthquake in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami also reached American Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, Tonga, Samoa, . A total of 192 humans died.1.2 m0
10/28/2008Meteorological event in the United States (Maine)3.6 m0
11/15/2006Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3.0.88 m0
11/04/1994Landslide in the United States (Skagway, Ak)9 m1
10/18/1989Earthquake in the United States (N. California) with a magnitude of 6.9.1 m0
11/30/1987Earthquake in the United States (Gulf Of Alaska, Ak) with a magnitude of 7.9.0.43 m0
11/29/1975Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Hawaii) with a magnitude of 7.7.14.30 m2
02/04/1965Earthquake in the United States (Rat Islands, Aleutian Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.7.10.67 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.67.09 m124
05/22/1960Earthquake in Chile (Southern Chile) with a magnitude of 9.5. The tsunami caused damages in 12 further countries. A total of 2,226 humans died.10.70 m63
07/10/1958Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Se. Alaska, Ak) with a magnitude of 7.8.524.26 m5
03/09/1957Earthquake in the United States (Andreanof Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries.32 m2
11/04/1952Earthquake in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 9.0. The tsunami caused damages in 10 further countries. A total of 10,000 humans died.10.40 m0
04/01/1946Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Unimak Island, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries. A total of 167 humans died.42.20 m164
10/27/1936Landslide in the United States (Lituya Bay, Ak)149.35 m0
02/03/1923Earthquake in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 8.3.6.1 m1
07/04/1905Landslide in the United States (Disenchantment Bay, Ak)33.53 m0
09/10/1899Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Yakutat Bay, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.2.60.96 m0
11/28/1894Landslide in the United States (Puyallup River Delta, Tacoma, Wa)3 m2
05/10/1877Earthquake in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 7 further countries. A total of 2,282 humans died.4.8 m5
04/03/1868Earthquake in the United States (Hawaii) with a magnitude of 7.9.13.70 m54
01/01/1853Landslide in the United States (Lituya Bay, Ak)120 m0
08/06/1788Earthquake in the United States (Shumagin Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.0.88 m0
07/21/1788Earthquake in the United States (Alaska Peninsula, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.0.30 m0


These statistics are based on datas from the National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): Global Historical Tsunami Database. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K. Several data have been summarized and translated. Foto taken from National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC, public domain).