Major tsunamis around the world

HONG KONG: The tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands yesterday after an 8.0-magnitude quake was the latest incidence of destructive waves being created by large undersea tremors.

Here is a chronology of some of the major tsunamis around the world since December 2004, when more than 226,000 people were killed around the Indian Ocean in one of the world’s worst ever natural disasters:

–  December 26, 2004: SOUTHEAST ASIA: A 9.3-magnitude undersea quake off the coast of Sumatra island triggers a tsunami that kills 226,000 people in countries around the Indian Ocean, including 168,000 in Indonesia.

–  July 17, 2006: INDONESIA: A 7.7-magnitude undersea quake strikes off Indonesia’s Java island, unleashing a tsunami and killing at least 654.

–   April 2, 2007: SOLOMON ISLANDS: An 8.0-magnitude quake in the Western Solomon Islands triggers a tsunami that kills 52 people and displaces thousands.

–  September 29, 2009: SAMOA: A tsunami sparked by an 8.0-magnitude earthquake flattens villages and resorts in Samoa and the neighbouring Pacific islands of American Samoa and northern Tonga, killing more than 190 people.

–  February 27, 2010: CHILE: An 8.8-magnitude earthquake strikes just three kilometres (two miles) off Chile, unleashing a tsunami and killing at least 521 people. Most of the dead are in the coastal area of Maule, 400 kilometres southwest of the capital Santiago.

–  October 25, 2010: INDONESIA: At least 350 people are killed and hundreds more missing after a tsunami unleashed by a powerful 7.7 magnitude quake strikes off the island of Sumatra.

– March 11, 2011: JAPAN: A 9.0-magnitude undersea quake triggers a powerful tsunami that smashes into northeastern Japan. Waves up to 40 metres (130 feet) are reported in parts. The tsunami left some 19,000 people dead or missing and crippled the Fukushima nuclear power plant in the world’s worst atomic disaster in 25 years. — AFP

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