Regional View



In general, the Caribbean region is more famous for sun and beaches than tsunamis; however they do occur here. The recorded tsunamis in the Caribbean region fall into two categories, teletsunamis triggered by earthquakes along faults off the coast of Portugal, and tsunamis generated by earthquakes along the faults of the Caribbean Plate boundaries.

In regards to the first category, there are only two recorded instances of teletsunamis striking the Caribbean region, once in 1755, and again in 1761. These two tsunamis were generated by large, and well documented earthquakes centered near Lisbon, Portugal. What records exist regarding the effects of these two events on locations in the Caribbean region are very sparse. The tsunami of 1755, reportedly produced a maximum runup of 7 meters on the island of Saba, 3.6 meters at Antigua, and 4.5 meters at St. Martin; but was not reported at any other Caribbean locations. The tsunami of 1761, was reported only at Barbados with a runup of 1.2 meters.

There are several historical reports of tsunamis generated within the Caribbean region. Most of these resulted from seismic activity in the northwestern portion of the Caribbean, near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Of these Caribbean events there are two which stand out as particularly destructive, the Virgin Island tsunami of 1867, and 1918 Puerto Rico tsunami. For more information on either of these events, please select the location of interest below, or click on the respective countries on the map above.




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