Deaths from tsunamis

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What you should know about this indicator

Tsunamis are only included if they were classified in the Global Historical Tsunami Database as "probable" or "definite".

National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 9, 2024
Date range
426 BCE – 2023 CE

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The Global Historical Tsunami Database provides information on over 2,400 tsunamis from 2100 BC to the present in the the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans; and the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. The database provides information on the tsunami source such as the date, time, and location of the source event; cause and validity of the source, tsunami magnitude and intensity; maximum water height; the total number of fatalities, injuries, houses destroyed, and houses damaged; total damage estimate (in U.S. dollars). The database also provides information on the runups (the locations where tsunami waves were observed by eyewitnesses, reconnaissance surveys, tide gauges, and deep-ocean sensors) such as name, location, arrival time, maximum water height and inundation distance, and socio-economic data (deaths, injuries, damage) for the specific runup location.

Retrieved on
May 9, 2024
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service: NCEI/WDS Global Historical Tsunami Database. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. doi:10.7289/V5PN93H7
The data can be accessed via the NCEI/WDS Global Historical Tsunami Database or via the Natural Hazards API.

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All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

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How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Deaths from tsunamis”, part of the following publication: Hannah Ritchie and Pablo Rosado (2022) - “Natural Disasters”. Data adapted from National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service. Retrieved from [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data. “Deaths from tsunamis – NOAA/NCEI” [dataset]. National Geophysical Data Center / World Data Service, “Global Historical Tsunami Database” [original data]. Retrieved June 20, 2024 from