Tsunami in Aleutian Islands 1957, United States

Tsunamis in the United States

In a total of 221 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1737 a total of 9,933 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 59 meters. At this Tsunami on 09/08/2017 a total of 8 people have been killed.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and economy had been a tsunami on 04/03/1868. A tidal wave of up to 37 meters killed 31 humans and destroyed vast areas.

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


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The marked positions on the map represent the most effected regions within the past 190 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 1919

DateCausemax wave heightDeathsTotal damage
09/08/2017Earthquake in Mexico (S. Mexico) with a magnitude of 8.2. The tsunami caused damages in 14 further countries.59m8
09/16/2015Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.59m111
04/01/2014Earthquake in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.2. The tsunami caused damages in 17 further countries.58m83
02/06/2013Earthquake on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.57m50
10/28/2012Earthquake in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of 7.7. The tsunami caused damages in 15 further countries.58m136
03/11/2011Earthquake in Japan (Honshu Island) with a magnitude of 9.1. The tsunami caused damages in 33 further countries. A total of 18,453 humans died.57m1,632
02/27/2010Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.8. The tsunami caused damages in 21 further countries. A total of 156 humans died.59m127
09/29/2009Earthquake in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami caused damages in 22 further countries. A total of 192 humans died.50m81
03/19/2009Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami caused damages in 10 further countries.58m8
08/15/2007Earthquake in Peru (S. Peru) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 13 further countries.53m34
12/26/2004Earthquake in Indonesia (Off W. Coast Of Sumatra) with a magnitude of 9.1. The tsunami caused damages in 47 further countries. A total of 227,899 humans died.50m48
03/03/1985Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami also reached Chile, Russia, Japan, Ecuador, French Polynesia.46m24
10/17/1966Earthquake in Peru (Central Peru) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami caused damages in 8 further countries.49m38
03/28/1964Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Prince William Sound, Ak) with a magnitude of 9.2. The tsunami caused damages in 27 further countries.56m540
10/20/1963Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami caused damages in 5 further countries.59m12
10/13/1963Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 8.5. The tsunami caused damages in 9 further countries.53m30
05/22/1960Earthquake in Chile (Southern Chile) with a magnitude of 9.5. The tsunami caused damages in 31 further countries. A total of 2,226 humans died.58m1,385
05/04/1959Earthquake in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 8.2.58m12
11/06/1958Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami also reached , Canada, Japan, American Samoa, Marshall Islands.58m22
07/10/1958Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Se. Alaska, Ak) with a magnitude of 7.8.57m24
03/09/1957Earthquake in the United States (Andreanof Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 18 further countries.59m975
09/14/1953Earthquake, landslide on the Fijis (Fiji Islands) with a magnitude of 6.4. The tsunami also reached Fiji, American Samoa, Vanuatu.44m8
11/04/1952Earthquake in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 9.0. The tsunami caused damages in 21 further countries. A total of 10,000 humans died.59m472
08/21/1951Earthquake in the United States (Hawaii) with a magnitude of 6.9.38m13
12/20/1946Earthquake in Japan (Honshu: S Coast) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami also reached Japan, Peru. A total of 1,362 humans died.37m12
04/01/1946Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Unimak Island, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 11 further countries.50m1,917
11/10/1938Earthquake in the United States (Shumagin Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.2.49m16
11/18/1929Earthquake, landslide in Canada (Grand Banks, Newfoundland) with a magnitude of 7.3. The tsunami also reached Portugal, Canada, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Martinique, Bermuda. A total of 28 humans died.45m13
04/13/1923Earthquake in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 7.2. The tsunami also reached Russia, South Korea, Japan, Canada. A total of 18 humans died.54m9
04/30/1919Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami also reached Canada, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa.47m10


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).