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 natural disasters worldwide

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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 11 am UTC.

Recent earthquakes in Tonga
  • Jan. 27, 3:19 am
    Magnitude 4.8: 107 km northeast of Neiafu at a depth of 35 km.
  • Jan. 24, 7:15 pm
    Magnitude 4.7: 100 km south-southwest of ‘Ohonua at a depth of 43.48 km.
  • Jan. 22, 3:48 pm
    Magnitude 5.0: Tonga at a depth of ten km.
  • Jan. 20, 4:11 pm
    Magnitude 4.9: 117 km east-northeast of Hihifo at a depth of ten km.
  • Jan. 20, 6:52 am
    Magnitude 5.0: 78 km east of ‘Ohonua at a depth of ten km.
  • Jan. 19, 8:08 am
    Magnitude 4.5: 148 km north-northwest of Neiafu at a depth of 227.98 km.
  • Jan. 18, 9:46 am
    Magnitude 5.1: Tonga at a depth of 15.64 km.
  • Jan. 17, 10:38 pm
    Magnitude 4.9: Samoa Islands 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
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.
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