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Tsunamis in American Samoa

A total of 7 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1917 have killed 34 people in American Samoa. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in American Samoa so far reached a height of 17.59 meters. On 09/29/2009, this tsunami killed a total of 34 people.

Other natural hazards in American Samoa:
Cyclones
The most severe natural disasters worldwide


Back to overview: American Samoa

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 110 years.

The largest tsunamis in American Samoa since 1917

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
09/29/2009Earthquakes in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami also reached Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, Outlying Islands, Tonga, United States. A total of 192 humans died.17.59 m34
05/22/1960Earthquakes in Chile (Southern Chile) with a magnitude of 9.5. The tsunami caused damages in 13 further countries. A total of 2,226 humans died.2.4 m0
03/09/1957Earthquakes in the United States (Andreanof Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries. A total of 2 humans died.1.5 m0
04/01/1946Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Unimak Island, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries. A total of 167 humans died.0.80 m0
11/11/1922Earthquakes in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.7. The tsunami also reached Japan, Peru, United States, Chile. A total of 200 humans died.0.90 m0
04/30/1919Earthquakes in Tonga (Tonga Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1.2.4 m0
06/26/1917Earthquakes in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami also reached Tonga, Samoa. A total of 2 humans died.2.4 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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