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. 8 earthquakes also caused a subsequent tsunami, which claimed further lifes and damages.

Other natural hazards in Tonga:
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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 11am UTC.

  • May 7, 1:32 am
    Magnitude 4.8: 64 km northwest of Nuku‘alofa at a depth of 77.06 km.
  • May 6, 11:55 am
    Magnitude 4.6: 49 km west of Haveluloto at a depth of 148.49 km.
  • May 4, 10:42 am
    Magnitude 5.0: 146 km east-southeast of Neiafu at a depth of 10 km.
  • May 3, 7:19 am
    Magnitude 4.6: 280 km west-northwest of Haveluloto at a depth of 427.49 km.
  • May 12, 3:57 pm
    Magnitude 4.8: 225 km northwest of Nuku‘alofa at a depth of 301.28 km.
  • May 11, 6:28 pm
    Magnitude 4.5: 242 km west-northwest of Haveluloto at a depth of 497.45 km.
  • May 10, 3:15 am
    Magnitude 4.8: 120 km south-southeast of Hihifo at a depth of 35 km.

Earthquakes in Tonga since 1950

The strongest earthquake in Tonga happened on 05/03/2006 in the region Tonga Islands with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale. The earthquake also triggered a tsunami with further victims and destructions.
DateRegionDepthMagnitudeDeathsTotal damage
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
10/11/1975S 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. Several data have been summarized and translated.
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