Beach travel destinations are extremely popular during the summer season. People head to the coast to soak up the sun, play in the sand and try out watersports. However, many popular beach destinations also run the risk of being tsunami-prone.
Tsunamis are a series of giant waves caused by earthquakes or underwater volcanic eruptions that can travel as fast as aeroplanes. With potentially devastating effects, no one wants to be on a beach when a tsunami hits. Similar to the Zika virus, a rule of thumb when it comes to tsunami-prone countries are those situated near the equator, as this is where the Pacific Ring of Fire is located. For a closer look, we’ll be discussing some of the world’s top tsunami-prone travel destinations to help you in booking your next summer vacation.
Andreas Schaefer of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Vienna cites the state of Hawaii in the USA as the “highest risk area on the planet for tourism risk to tsunamis”. This is because Hawaii has the potential to be affected by tsunami sources from Japan, Alaska and, South America. An earthquake in Chile caused the last major tsunami in Hawaii all the way back in 1960. This had over 60 fatalities and around $500 million (€452 million) damage in today’s currency. It’s important to note however that the state has invested significantly when it comes to tsunami warnings so necessary precautions have already been made.
Ecuador is known for its beautiful beaches and pristine fishing villages where tourists come to surf and party. However, the country is at high risk when it comes to natural disasters. Just a few months ago, a series of strong earthquakes rocked the country, thankfully not resulting in any tsunami. That being said, tsunamis are still the main coastal hazards in the highly touristic peninsulas of Bahía de Caráquez and Salinas. Experts say that the whole country has a 20% chance of a potentially damaging tsunami occurring in the next 50 years. Local academics also found that the tsunami vulnerability of infrastructure and basic service delivery is quite high, so you definitely don’t want to be stuck here if a tsunami strikes.
Bali is making a name for itself as a surfing capital, and it’s also a dream destination for beach bums around the world. However, the whole country is at high risk of tsunamis. Just last year the town of Sulawesi, a popular tourist destination known for its volcanic cliffs, was hit by a tsunami. The official number of casualties reached nearly 400 but authorities fear it could be more. This isn’t the first time however, as tsunamis are embedded in the country’s history. The Asian Tsunami had its epicentre off the coast of Sumatra. Save the Children indicates that the 2004 Asian Tsunami was one of the largest since the beginning of the 20th century where 160,000 people were killed as a result of the 9.1 magnitude earthquake and the subsequent tsunami that devastated the region. Visitors arriving on the country’s shores need to be wary of these risks.
With the devastating 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami shocking the world, it’s common knowledge that tsunamis pose a major threat in Japan. Trip Savvy reveals that there is a high amount of risk in the tourist areas of Nagoya and Osaka-Kobe. However, the Japanese rebuild effectively each time they are hit by a tsunami. The country is well equipped when it comes to natural disasters, with early warning signs and infrastructure that can withstand most damage.