Tsunamis in New Zealand

In a total of 63 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1826 a total of 897 people died in New Zealand. Tsunamis therefore occur comparatively often in this country.

The strongest tidal wave registered in New Zealand so far reached a height of 59 meters. At this Tsunami on 06/23/2014 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 09/08/2017. A tidal wave of up to 58 meters killed 18 humans and destroyed vast areas.

Other natural hazards in New Zealand:
Volcanos
Earthquake
The most severe natural disasters worldwide


Back to overview: New Zealand

The marked positions on the map represent the most effected regions within the past 150 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 New Zealand since 1855

DateCausemax wave heightDeathsTotal damage
12/08/2017Eruption in New Zealand (Kermadec Islands)unknown12
09/08/2017Earthquake in Mexico (S. Mexico) with a magnitude of 8.2. The tsunami caused damages in 14 further countries.58m18
11/13/2016Earthquake in New Zealand (Off East Coast Of South Island) with a magnitude of 7.8.13m66
09/01/2016Earthquake in New Zealand (Gisborne) with a magnitude of 7.1.48m8
09/16/2015Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.58m32
06/23/2014Earthquake in New Zealand (S Of Raoul Island, Kermadec Islands) with a magnitude of 6.9.59m8
04/01/2014Earthquake in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.2. The tsunami caused damages in 17 further countries.47m30
08/16/2013Earthquake in New Zealand (Wellington) with a magnitude of 6.5.36m4
07/21/2013Earthquake in New Zealand (Cook Strait) with a magnitude of 6.5.55m4
02/06/2013Earthquake on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.31m10
10/28/2012Earthquake in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of 7.7. The tsunami caused damages in 15 further countries.38m12
10/21/2011Earthquake in New Zealand (Kermadec Islands) with a magnitude of 7.4.7m4
07/06/2011Earthquake in New Zealand (Kermadec Islands) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami caused damages in 9 further countries.42m8
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.57m64
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.58m48
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.49m49
07/15/2009Earthquake in New Zealand (Off West Coast Of South Island) with a magnitude of 7.8. The tsunami also reached Australia, United States.56m13
03/19/2009Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami caused damages in 10 further countries.49m6
09/30/2007Earthquake in New Zealand (Auckland Islands) with a magnitude of 7.4.42m7
08/15/2007Earthquake in Peru (S. Peru) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 13 further countries.59m12
04/01/2007Earthquake on the Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami caused damages in 10 further countries. A total of 50 humans died.53m18
11/15/2006Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.50m14
05/03/2006Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 14 further countries.unknown18
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.59m52
12/23/2004Earthquake in Australia (Macquarie Island) with a magnitude of 8.1.30m4
06/22/1977Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga Trench) with a magnitude of 7.2. The tsunami caused damages in 5 further countries.50m8
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. A total of 124 humans died.10m21
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.50m92
08/13/1868Earthquake in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.5. The tsunami caused damages in 8 further countries. A total of 25,000 humans died.30m28
01/23/1855Earthquake in New Zealand (Northern Island) with a magnitude of 8.0.unknown64


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.