Earthquakes in Tonga

In Tonga, there are partly large earthquakes with strengths of more than 7.0, which cause damages within a radius of over 100 kilometers. Due to the special tectonic situation of the country, there are more earthquakes than average. There were 9 earthquakes that also caused a subsequent tsunami, which claimed further lives, and cause additional damage.

Other natural hazards in Tonga:
The most severe earthquakes in the world

Back to overview: Tonga

Severe earthquake on May 27th

On the afternoon of May 27th, 2023, a devastating earthquake occurred 127 km west of Neiafu at 13:11 local time. The quake had a magnitude of 6.0 points on the Richter scale and occurred at a depth of about 224 kilometers. Such violent earthquakes occur only rarely. It is the strongest earthquake in Tonga in 16 days. As recently as May 11th, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake occurred about 95 km west-northwest of Hihifo.

Most recent events

This list includes the strongest earthquakes recorded in or around Tonga by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in the past 14 days. Whether an event is listed here depends largely on its magnitude, but also on its distance from inhabited areas. All data refer to the local time. This page is updated daily at 10:00 UTC.

Recent earthquakes in Tonga
  • May 27, 1:11 pm
    Magnitude 6.0: 127 km west of Neiafu at a depth of 223.91 km.
  • May 23, 11:51 pm
    Magnitude 4.5: 151 km northwest of Houma at a depth of 217.99 km.
  • May 23, 2:30 am
    Magnitude 5.1: 33 km northeast of Hihifo at a depth of 39.00 km.
  • May 22, 3:11 am
    Magnitude 4.9: 96 km west-northwest of Hihifo at a depth of 194.55 km.
  • May 22, 12:26 am
    Magnitude 5.2: 106 km southeast of Neiafu at a depth of ten km.
  • May 21, 9:53 pm
    Magnitude 4.4: 258 km west of Hihifo at a depth of 364.73 km.
  • May 21, 6:23 pm
    Magnitude 5.8: 109 km southeast of Neiafu at a depth of ten km.
  • May 19, 8:43 am
    Magnitude 4.9: Tonga at a depth of 172.75 km.
  • May 17, 2:53 am
    Magnitude 4.9: 89 km southeast of Pangai at a depth of ten km.

Earthquakes in Tonga since 1950

The strongest earthquake in Tonga happened on 05/03/2006 in the Tonga Islands region with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami, leading to further victims and destruction.
DateRegionDepthMagnitudeDeathsTotal damage
05/10/2023Hihifo210 km7.60
11/11/2022Tonga Islands24 km7.30
03/19/2009Tonga Islands40 km7.60
05/03/2006Tonga Islands40 km7.90
10/14/1997Tonga Islands18 km7.70
10/06/1987Tonga Islands6 km7.30
12/19/1982Tonga Trench54 km7.70
10/10/1977Tonga Trench53 km7.20
06/22/1977Tonga Trench33 km7.21
10/11/1975South Of Tonga15 km7.80
12/18/1963Tonga Trench 7.50
01/10/1956Tonga Islands 7.70
12/14/1950Tonga Islands46 km7.70

These statistics are based on datas from the National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (NGDC/WDS): Significant Earthquake Database. doi:10.7289/V5TD9V7K. Data have been summarized and translated.
International tourismThe 40 most popular travel countriesA ranking of international tourism over 40 countries. USA ranks 3rd.
Austria: ClimateClimate and temperature development in AustriaA climate analysis for Austria incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, water temperature, rainfalls
Hong Kong: Public HolidaysPublic holidays in Hong Kong 2023-2027Statutory and inofficial holidays in Hong Kong for 2023 to 2027