Tsunamis in Sri Lanka

A total of 4 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1883 have killed 35,333 people in Sri Lanka. Tsunamis therefore occur only rarely here.

The strongest tidal wave registered in Sri Lanka so far reached a height of 12.50 meters. On 12/26/2004, this tsunami killed a total of 35,322 people.

Other natural hazards in Sri Lanka:
The most severe tsunamis in the world

Back to overview: Sri Lanka

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 140 years.

The largest tsunamis in Sri Lanka since 1883

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
03/28/2005Earthquakes in Indonesia (Indonesia) with a magnitude of m10
12/26/2004Earthquakes in Indonesia (Off W. Coast Of Sumatra) with a magnitude of 9.1. The tsunami caused damages in 20 further countries. A total of 227,899 humans died.12.50 m35,322
01/04/1907Earthquakes in Indonesia (Nw. Sumatra) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami also reached Indonesia, Reunion. A total of 400 humans died.2.1 m0
08/27/1883Volcano in Indonesia (Krakatau) The tsunami also reached Australia, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, Reunion. A total of 34,417 humans died.3.6 m1

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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