Tsunamis in Sri Lanka

In a total of 10 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1881 a total of 685 people died in Sri Lanka. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in Sri Lanka so far reached a height of 49 meters. At this Tsunami on 12/26/2004 a total of 658 people have been killed.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and economy had been a tsunami on 04/11/2012. A tidal wave of up to 14 meters killed 2 humans and destroyed vast areas.

The most severe natural disasters worldwide


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The marked positions on the map represent the most effected regions within the past 140 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 Sri Lanka since 1881

DateCausemax wave heightDeathsTotal damage
04/11/2012Earthquake in Indonesia (Off W. Coast Of N Sumatra) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 9 further countries.14m2
10/25/2010Earthquake in Indonesia (Sumatra) with a magnitude of 7.8. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries. A total of 431 humans died.41m4
06/12/2010Earthquake in India (Little Nicobar Island) with a magnitude of 7.5.9m2
09/12/2007Earthquake in Indonesia (Sumatra) with a magnitude of 8.4. The tsunami caused damages in 10 further countries.unknown4
03/28/2005Earthquake in Indonesia (Indonesia) with a magnitude of 8.7. The tsunami caused damages in 8 further countries. A total of 10 humans died.40m2
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.49m658
01/04/1907Earthquake in Indonesia (Nw. Sumatra) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami also reached Indonesia, Reunion, Mauritius. A total of 400 humans died.unknown2
08/27/1883Volcano in Indonesia (Krakatau) The tsunami caused damages in 15 further countries. A total of 34,417 humans died.unknown8
01/01/1882Earthquake in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)unknown1
12/31/1881Earthquake in India (Bay Of Bengal: W Of Car Nicobar Is) with a magnitude of 7.9.unknown2


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.