Tsunamis: Top five deadliest tidal waves recorded in modern history

Last Saturday, an underwater volcano erupted near to the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga, triggering waves measuring 15m (49ft) in size to batter the more than 170 islands that are encompassed within it. The natural disaster has left at least three people dead and destroyed many communities in its wake. Despite its undoubted devastation, the tsunami is significantly less deadly than some of its predecessors. So, which of these events have gone down in history as the most lethal of modern times?

5.) Sunda Strait tsunami – 2018

The Sunda Strait Tsunami occurred on December 23, 2018, and was the third major tidal wave to originate in the area around Indonesia, with the first being in 1883 and the second in 2004.

Despite this region having previously suffered from two of the worst tsunamis in modern history, people were not warned of the tsunami’s imminent arrival.

At least 373 people died with reports of hundreds more missing and the displacement of almost 2,000 people.

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The 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami almost completely destroyed Messina and several coastal towns in both Italy and Sicily.

At least 80,000 people lost their lives and forced thousands more to flee.

For more than a century, scientists struggled to identify the origins of the disaster until in 2019 a study found the fault responsible for the earthquake in the Mediterranean Ocean.

1.) The Indian Ocean tsunami – 2004

On the morning of December 26, 2004, an underwater earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 triggered a massive tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean.

Initially, the tidal wave first struck Indonesia, followed by Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, South Africa and 11 other countries in a matter of hours.

With some waves ascending over 100 feet, the Boxing Day tsunami has the highest recorded death toll, killing more than 230,000.

Estimates determined the material losses from the immense destruction were about $10 billion.

In addition, there was long-term environmental damage, displacing hundreds of thousands of people as the tsunami destroyed villages, resorts, farmland and fishing grounds.

source: express.co.uk