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Tsunamis in Vanuatu

A total of 13 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1875 have killed 5 people in Vanuatu. Compared to other countries, Tsunamis therefore occur rather rarely.

The strongest tidal wave registered in Vanuatu so far reached a height of twelve meters. On 01/10/1878, no losses of human lifes have been registered by this tsunami.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and the economy had been a tsunami on 11/26/1999. A tidal wave of up to 6.6 meters killed 5 humans and destroyed vast areas.

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


Back to overview: Vanuatu

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 150 years.

The largest tsunamis in Vanuatu since 1875

DateCauseMax. tidal waveFatalitiesTotal damage
01/15/2022Volcano in Tonga (Tonga Islands) The tsunami caused damages in 8 further countries. A total of 6 humans died.1.4 m0
12/05/2018Earthquakes in New Caledonia (Loyalty Islands) with a magnitude of 7.5.2 m0
02/19/2015Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 6.4.8 m0
02/06/2013Earthquakes on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9.0 m0
12/25/2010Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.3.4.1 m0
01/02/2002Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.2.3 m0
11/26/1999Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.5.6.6 m5
04/21/1997Earthquakes on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Is. Vanuatu) with a magnitude of 7.7.3 m0
08/11/1965Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.0.7 m0
07/23/1961Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.3.0.90 m0
08/09/1901Earthquakes in New Caledonia (Loyalty Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami also reached United States, Solomon Islands.0 m0
01/10/1878Earthquakes in Vanuatu (Tanna Island) with a magnitude of 7.5.12 m0
03/28/1875Earthquakes in New Caledonia (Lifou Island, Loyalty Islands) with a magnitude of 8.0.4 m0


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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