Tsunamis in Vanuatu

In a total of 13 tidal waves classified as a tsunami since 1875 a total of 5 people died 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. At this Tsunami on 01/10/1878 no losses of human lifes have been registered.

The biggest impact in terms of lifes, injuries, destroyed homes and 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:
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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 effected 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 7 further countries. A total of 6 humans died.1.4 m0
12/05/2018Earthquake in New Caledonia (Loyalty Islands) with a magnitude of 7.5.2 m0
02/19/2015Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 6.4.8 m0
02/06/2013Earthquake on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9.0 m0
12/25/2010Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of m0
01/02/2002Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.2.3 m0
11/26/1999Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of m5
04/21/1997Earthquake on the Solomon Islands (Santa Cruz Is. Vanuatu) with a magnitude of 7.7.3 m0
08/11/1965Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of 7.0.7 m0
07/23/1961Earthquake in Vanuatu (Vanuatu Islands) with a magnitude of m0
08/09/1901Earthquake in New Caledonia (Loyalty Islands) with a magnitude of 7.9. The tsunami also reached United States, Solomon Islands.0 m0
01/10/1878Earthquake in Vanuatu (Tanna Island) with a magnitude of 7.5.12 m0
03/28/1875Earthquake 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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