Significant Tsunami Events

The Pacific coastal states and territories in WSSPC have experienced many tsunamis that have resulted in lives lost and damaged coastal areas. WSSPC Report 2011-01, “Tsunami Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness: A Perspective from State and Territory Tsunami Programs in the High Tsunami Risk Pacific Region” conservatively estimates nearly 400 deaths from tsunamis in Alaska, American Samoa, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington since 1946, and damages over $1 billion (adjusted to 2011 USD) from just 8 tsunamis (Table 1, p. 8).

One of the key lessons we have learned from these tsunamis that have impacted the Pacific coastal regions is that public education, awareness of the hazard and the appropriate responses save lives. Other key lessons learned are contained in the following summaries of significant Pacific Ocean tsunamis.

Summaries of Significant Tsunamis:

April 1, 1946 Aleutians

November 4, 1952 Kamchatka

March 9, 1957 Aleutians

July 9, 1958 Lituya Bay, Alaska

May 22, 1960 Chile

March 27, 1964 Alaska

November 29, 1975 Kalapana, Hawaii

December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean (Sumatra)

November 15, 2006 Kuril Islands

September 29, 2009 Samoa

February 27, 2010 Chile

March 11, 2011 Japan