Tsunamis of the 21st century


Indonesia, 2018

On December 22, 2018, the small Indonesian volcano Anak Krakatau erupted, causing a tsunami in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java. More than 200 people were killed, according to initial estimates, and more than 800 injured. Anak Krakatau is a small volcanic island that emerged after the devastating 1883 eruption of Indonesia's well-known Krakatoa volcano.


New Zealand, 2016

The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake was the second-worst in the country's post-colonial history. Ruptures occured along multiple fault lines, prompting about 20,000 aftershocks and a 7-meter (22-foot) tsunami. Two people were killed and dozens injured.


Japan, 2011

The 2011 Japanese tsunami was triggered by a massive underwater earthquake. Waves reached up to 40.5 meters (133 feet) high. The disaster killed some 16,000 people and injured thousands more, as well as destroying homes and communities. It also caused the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.


Chile, 2010

Chile is earthquake-prone, and indeed a 1960 earthquake there is still the strongest ever recorded. In February 2010, an 8.8-magnitude tremor prompted tsunami warnings as far away as Japan and Russia. A wave of several tsunamis hit the Chilean coast, added to the damage that left at least 525 people dead.


Solomon Islands, 2007

In April 2007, an earthquake struck the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. At least 52 people were killed when a 12-meter (40-foot) tsunami completely washed away two villages. Around 900 homes were destroyed, as well as a hospital.


Indian Ocean, 2004

This picture from a beach in Thailand shows just a fraction of the devastation caused by the massive earthquake and 30-meter (120-foot) tsunami that came on December 26, 2004. Fourteen countries were affected, and about 230,000 people lost their lives. The earthquake is the third-largest ever recorded.

The most devastating tsunamis tend to occur on the Pacific coast following earthquakes. Here are some of the worst of the past 20 years in pictures.

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