Top 5 Tsunamis in History

Tsunamis are destructive sea waves which comes from different height that are caused by movement of tectonic plates under the ocean floor, volcanic eruptions, or even landslides. In human history, there are hundreds or probably thousands of recorded tsunamis around the world. There are notable ones because of its destructive power and number of casualties. Now, let’s take a look of the top 5 most devastating tsunamis around the world. Each tsunami has been judged based on the destruction they caused, and the number of lives lost.

  1. 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami

The infamous boxing day tsunami that happened on December 26 2004 recorded a 9.1 magnitude earthquake that produced as high as 50 m tall wave. The earthquake is said to have the power of 23,000 Hiroshima type atomic bombs.The disaster is considered as the deadliest tsunami in history as it killed more than 230,000 people and damaged an estimated 10b US dollars.  Indonesia, as the epicenter of the earthquake, is the most affected area along with 13 other countries hit by the tsunami.

Banda Aceh in 2005

2. 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

Although earthquakes have been normal to Japan, them being in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the 2011 earthquake is a different story. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Japan in 2011 is the most powerful earthquake to have hit the country. It created 128 feet tsunami waves that swept anythings it runs through. More than 18,000 people were killed and some 125,000 buildings were damaged.  It is considered as the most expensive disaster in the history of Japan as it caused damages amounting to 300 billion US dollars.

3. 1883 Krakatao Tsunami

On August 27, 1883 the Krakatao caldera volcano erupted and was considered as the loudest noise ever recorded in history as it reached as far as 3,000 miles away. This eruption created a 45 m high tsunami that killed an estimated 40,000 people with 165 coastal towns and villages in Java and Sumatra annihilated by the tsunami.

4. 1868 Northern Chile earthquake and tsunami

Considered as the 2nd deadliest earthquake in history, the Chilean earthquake produced a wave as high as 39 foot 52 minutes after the earthquake struck. Another 50 ft wave totally destroyed Arica with 25,000 casualties damaged. An estimated 300 million US dollars were reportedly the total caused of the damages left by the tsunami.

Arica Tsunami

5. 1755 Lisbon earthquake and tsunami

A 8.5 magnitude earthquake triggered a series of three big waves that swept up people, damaged infrastructures, and destroyed ships in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. The tsunami was felt in North Africa, Portugal, and Spain.A total of more than 10,000 people died during the tragic catastrophe that happened to be All Saint’s Day.



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