10 Most Destructive Tsunamis In History

A tsunami is a high sea wave that is usually caused by an underwater earthquake or disturbance, such as a volcanic eruption. Its height can reach tens of meters and can completely destroy and erase towns and villages of existence. It is one of the most destructive natural disasters and its impact can be devastating. Check out the list of the 10 most destructive tsunamis in human history. These were some of the deadliest tsunamis and the worst earthquake of all time.

10. The Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004

The Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka 2004

The Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka 2004

On December 26, 2004, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake occurred on a submarine off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Initially, the earthquake was estimated at 8.8, but scientists shifted their estimate to 9.1.

The earthquake has been felt in many countries such as Bangladesh, India, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Maldives. Then, over 7 hours, a deadly tsunami caused by the submarine earthquake struck the Indian Ocean.

It is estimated that the tsunami killed 225,000 people and suffered massive destruction. Thousands of tourists on vacation during the tsunami were killed or reported missing. Casualties increased due to lack of food, drinking water and supplies.

9. 1755 Lisbon Tsunami

1755 The Great Earthquake of Lisbon and Tsunami, Portugal

1755 The Great Earthquake of Lisbon and Tsunami, Portugal

The 1755 earthquake in Lisbon is also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake and the Lisbon Disaster. The earthquake occurred in the Kingdom of Portugal on November 1, 1755. It is estimated that the magnitude of the earthquake reached 9.0 on the scale of magnitude.

When the earthquake struck, people felt three different shocks. The second was much stronger than the first and sent buildings knocking over. The earthquake caused fires that resulted in people burning to death after not being able to escape.

Exactly 40 minutes after the earthquake, a huge tsunami wave hit the area. Three massive waves of tsunami destroyed several cities and some of the waves were almost 30 meters high. It was one of the most destructive earthquakes and tsunamis known in history to date that resulted in the deaths of 70,000 people in Portugal, Spain and Morocco.

8. Tsunami Tohoku 2011

Earthquake in Japan and Tsunami of 2011

Earthquake in Japan and Tsunami of 2011

7 years ago on March 11, 2011, an earthquake with a magnitude of 0.9 to 9.1 occurred submerged off the coast of Japan. The impact of the earthquake was felt around the world, and to this day Japan is still recovering earthquake and tsunami.

The tsunami that followed the earthquake is considered one of the most powerful tsunamis that have reached the height of up to 40 meters. Thousands of lives were lost and more than 120,000 buildings were destroyed. The tsunami caused a failure at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant highlighting radioactive materials.

7. 1703 Genroku Tsunami

Genroku Earthquake and Tsunami in1703

Genroku Earthquake - 1703

On December 31, 1703, an earthquake occurred in the southern region of Kanto, Japan, during the historic Genroku Era. This triggered a tsunami that had a height of a maximum of 10.5 in Wada and 10 meters in Izu Oshima and Ainohama.

It is estimated that the earthquake and tsunami caused the death of 200,000. Large fires broke out and a total of 8,007 houses were destroyed. 400 km of coast were affected by the tsunami.

6. Tsunami of 1883 in Krakotoa

Tsunami of 1883 in Krakotoa

Tsunami waves generated by the explosion of Krakatau volcano (Krakatoa). The volcanic eruption of Krakatoa was one of the most catastrophic ever witnessed in recorded history.

The Krakotoa tsunami in 1883 was generated by the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano. The eruption of Krakatoa is one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions in modern history. The pressure of three gigantic eruptions gave rise to tsunamis as waves. The first 3 eruptions caused violent outbursts, and the fourth caused the destructive tsunami.

The tsunami destroyed a large number of coastal towns and villages. A total of 36,417 people drowned as a result.

5. 1498 Tsunami of the Middle Nankaido

1498 Tsunami of the Middle Nankaido

In 1498, a strong earthquake struck about 35 miles (60 miles) off the coast of Nankaido.

The tsunami of Middle Nankaido happened on the coast of Nankaido, Japan. The Tsunami was generated by a powerful earthquake of magnitude 8.6. It is reported that the tsunami waves were 56 meters high, and the number of deaths is said to be between 5,000 and 41,000 deaths.

4. Messina Tsunami of 1908

Messina Tsunami of 1908

The port of Messina, as it would have appeared at the time of the earthquake and tsunami.

On December 28, 1908, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred in Messina, Italy. It destroyed 91% of the structures and buildings of Messina and killed 75,000 people. It is considered the most destructive earthquake in Europe.

The earthquake was followed by a huge tsunami and the double catastrophe almost destroyed Messina and nearby cities. The tsunami waves were estimated at 13 meters high that fell on the shores of northern Sicily and southern Calabria. After the tsunami struck, the harbor was filled with wreckage of ships and corpses of drowned people and animals.

3. Tsunami of 365 Crete

Tsunami of 365 Crete

One of the most destructive earthquakes on 21 July 365 AD along the western coast of Crete generated a mega-tsunami that devastated the southern and eastern coasts of the Mediterranean and particularly affected the Peloponnese, the Greek islands, Sicily, Libya, Cyprus, Palestine and Egypt.

On July 21, 365 AD, a magnitude 8 submarine earthquake caused a tsunami that was responsible for extensive destruction in Li Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus, Sicily and the Greek Isles. It is said that the effect of the earthquake and tsunami was a factor in the decline of the Roman Empire.

The Roman historian explained in detail that the tsunami struck Alexandria in Egypt and elsewhere and that there were three main phases of the tsunami and that the death toll should be estimated between 300,000 and 500,000 people.

2. The Minoan Eruption and the Tsunami

The Minoan Eruption and the Tsunami

The Minoan eruption, also known as the Santorini eruption, was a large volcanic eruption that was followed by a devastating tsunami. The tsunami eliminated the Minoan civilization that lived on the island of Crete. The casualties of the catastrophe are estimated to range from 30,000 to 100,000.

1. The Arica Tsunami of 1868

Artistic rendering of the 1868 Tsunami in Arica

Artistic rendering of the 1868 Tsunami in Arica (then Peruvian city)

In 1868, the earthquake of 1868 in Arica occurred near Arica, Peru, with a magnitude of 8.5-9.0. That generated a tsunami in the Pacific that killed hundreds of people from nearby towns and cities.

The tsunami destroyed most of the ships seated in the harbor. The reported height of the tsunami waves is 14 meters. 25,674 people lost their lives during this tragedy.