Recent Tsunamis in Australia | John Seach

The tsunamis which followed the great Indonesian earthquake in 2004 highlighted the threat of tsunamis to Australia. The risk of tsunami damage to Australia is small but cannot be ignored. Observed tsunamis reaching the mainland of Australia have been small, but historically large waves have reached the coast.

The table below lists observed tsunamis in Australia.




Earthquake in Chile. Tsunami reached east coast o Australia.


Eruption of Krakatoa volcano, in Indonesia. Tsunami reached northwest coast of Australia.


Earthquake in Chile. Tsunami reached the east coast of Australia.


Earthquake in Indonesia. Tsunami reached northwest coast of Australia.

May 23 1989

Magnitude 8.2 earthquake near Macquarie Island.
Tsunami reached Hobart, Eden, Jervis Bay and Sydney (0.2 m).

June 2 1994

Magnitude 7.2 earthquake south of Java, Indonesia.
Tsunami measured at Broome, Dampier, Barrow Island, King Bay, Onslow and Carnavon (45 cm).
Ships were moved near King Bay, and petrol pipe ruptured.
3-4 m water surge at Baudin carried fish, coral, and rocks 300 m inland and damaged car park railing.
Tsunami effects were greatest in areas adjacent to gaps in the offshore reef.

May 16 1995

Magnitude 7.7 earthquake in the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. Tsunami reached the coast of New South Wales.

July 30 1995

Magnitude 7.3 earthquake near the coast of northern Chile.
Tsunami reached Gold Coast (10 cm).

October 9 1995

Magnitude 7.4 earthquake near coast of Guerrero, Mexico.
Tsunami of 4 cm at Southport, and 5 cm at Mooloolaba, Queensland.

April 18 1997

Tsunami recorded at Norfolk Island.
Source not identified.

April 21 1997

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake in the Santa Cruz islands, Solomon Islands.
Tsunami recorded at Lord Howe Island, Crowdy Head (NSW), and Tweed Heads (NSW).

March 25 1998

Magnitude 8.1 earthquake near the Balleny Islands near Antarctica.
Tsunami of 10 cm reported in Australia (location not specified).

June 18 2000

Magnitude 7.8 earthquake in South Indian Ocean.
Tsunami recorded in Cocos Islands (30 cm).

December 26 2004

Great earthquake in Indonesia (magnitude 9.0).
Tsunami reached south of Perth.