Tsunamis in South Korea

A total of 6 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1649 have killed 403 people in South Korea. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in South Korea so far reached a height of five meters. On 05/26/1983, this tsunami killed a total of 3 people.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and the economy had been a tsunami on 04/13/1923. A tidal wave of up to zero meters killed 400 humans and destroyed vast areas.

Other natural hazards in South Korea:
The most severe tsunamis in the world

Back to overview: South Korea

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 380 years.

The largest tsunamis in South Korea since 1649

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
05/04/2008Meteorological event in South Korea (Yellow Sea)1.3 m0
03/31/2007Meteorological event in South Korea (Yellow Sea)1.7 m0
07/12/1993Earthquakes in Japan (Sea Of Japan) with a magnitude of 7.7. The tsunami also reached Russia, North Korea, Japan. A total of 208 humans died.2.8 m0
05/26/1983Earthquakes in Japan (Noshiro, Japan) with a magnitude of 7.8. The tsunami also reached Japan, Russia. A total of 100 humans died.5 m3
04/13/1923Earthquakes in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 7.2. The tsunami also reached Russia, United States.0 m400
12/09/1649Earthquakes in South Korea (Yellow Sea) with a magnitude of 6.5.0 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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