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Tsunamis in Samoa

A total of 12 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1868 have killed 360 people in Samoa. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in Samoa so far reached a height of 14.45 meters. On 09/29/2009, this tsunami killed a total of 356 people.

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


Back to overview: 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 160 years.

The largest tsunamis in Samoa since 1868

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
09/29/2009Earthquakes in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 8.1. The tsunami also reached American Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, Outlying Islands, Tonga, United States.14.45 m356
09/01/1981Earthquakes in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 7.7.1 m0
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.4.9 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.0 m0
11/04/1952Earthquakes in Russia (Kamchatka) with a magnitude of 9.0. The tsunami caused damages in 11 further countries. A total of 10,000 humans died.1.4 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.1.2 m0
06/26/1917Earthquakes in Samoa (Samoa Islands) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami also reached Tonga, American Samoa.12.20 m2
05/01/1917Earthquakes in New Zealand (Kermadec Islands) with a magnitude of 8.0.12.20 m0
10/06/1907Volcano in Samoa (Matavanu Volcano)3.6 m0
06/15/1896Earthquakes in Japan (Sanriku) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami also reached United States, Japan, Outlying Islands, Cook Islands. A total of 27,122 humans died.1.7 m0
05/10/1877Earthquakes in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.3. The tsunami caused damages in 7 further countries. A total of 2,282 humans died.0.90 m0
08/13/1868Earthquakes in Chile (Northern Chile) with a magnitude of 8.5. The tsunami caused damages in 6 further countries. A total of 25,000 humans died.4.5 m2


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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