Tsunamis in French Polynesia

In a total of 41 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1819 a total of 1,224 people died in French Polynesia. Tsunamis therefore occur comparatively often in this country.

The strongest tidal wave registered in French Polynesia so far reached a height of 59 meters. At this Tsunami on 03/11/2011 a total of 371 people have been killed.



The most severe natural disasters worldwide


Back to overview: French Polynesia

The marked positions on the map represent the most effected regions within the past 190 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 French Polynesia since 1946

DateCausemax wave heightDeathsTotal damage
01/23/2018Earthquake in the United States (Kodiak Island, Ak) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami also reached United States, Canada, Samoa.54m4
09/08/2017Earthquake in Mexico (S. Mexico) with a magnitude of 8.2. The tsunami caused damages in 14 further countries.54m8
09/16/2015Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.43m8
04/01/2014Earthquake in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.2. The tsunami caused damages in 17 further countries.48m8
02/06/2013Earthquake on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries. A total of 10 humans died.37m4
10/28/2012Earthquake in Canada (British Columbia) with a magnitude of 7.7. The tsunami caused damages in 15 further countries.40m12
07/06/2011Earthquake in New Zealand (Kermadec Islands) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami caused damages in 9 further countries.53m4
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.59m371
02/27/2010Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.8. The tsunami caused damages in 21 further countries.45m258
10/07/2009Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami caused damages in 14 further countries.51m2
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.38m6
03/19/2009Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga) with a magnitude of 7.6. The tsunami caused damages in 10 further countries.48m6
08/15/2007Earthquake in Peru (S. Peru) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 13 further countries.43m4
11/15/2006Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 23 further countries.unknown6
05/03/2006Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 14 further countries.55m2
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.unknown2
11/26/1999Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.5. The tsunami caused damages in 12 further countries. A total of 5 humans died.unknown2
09/13/1999Landslide in French Polynesia (Fatu Hiva)unknown45
02/21/1996Earthquake in Peru (N. Peru) with a magnitude of 7.5. The tsunami also reached Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, United States. A total of 12 humans died.unknown1
12/03/1995Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami also reached Japan, United States, , American Samoa, Canada.unknown4
10/09/1995Earthquake in Mexico (S. Mexico) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami also reached Mexico, Australia, United States, American Samoa, Ecuador.unknown6
07/30/1995Earthquake in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 11 further countries.unknown3
10/04/1994Earthquake in Russia (S. Kuril Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 5 further countries.unknown2
09/02/1992Earthquake in Nicaragua (Nicaragua) with a magnitude of 7.7. The tsunami caused damages in 7 further countries. A total of 170 humans died.unknown2
10/20/1986Earthquake in New Zealand (Kermadec Islands) with a magnitude of 7.8. The tsunami also reached United States, American Samoa.15m2
05/07/1986Earthquake in the United States (Andreanof Islands, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 12 further countries.unknown2
09/19/1985Earthquake in Mexico (Mexico) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries.unknown4
03/03/1985Earthquake in Chile (Central Chile) with a magnitude of 8.0. The tsunami also reached Chile, Russia, Japan, United States, Ecuador.unknown4
06/22/1977Earthquake in Tonga (Tonga Trench) with a magnitude of 7.2. The tsunami caused damages in 5 further countries.35m4
04/01/1946Earthquake, landslide in the United States (Unimak Island, Ak) with a magnitude of 8.6. The tsunami caused damages in 11 further countries.unknown283


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.