The Aitape Tsunami: Paupua New Guinea

Jenifer Bode
Geography 361, 2005

-General Information


On July 17 th, 1998 a 7.1 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Shortly thereafter a large tsunami, 10-15m high, struck the coast killing over 2000 people and leaving behind incredible damage. After the tsunami most assumed that the earthquake had been the cause, but upon further examination some inconsistencies emerged; the 7.1 earthquake was not typically large enough to create such a large tsunami, the wave took longer than usual to reach the shore, and a loud rumble was heard that could not have been generated by the earthquake. All of these irregularities caused people to take a second look at the tsunami and many scientists came to the conclusion that it was in fact a large undersea slump that caused the devastating tsunami. This is now the general consensus in the scientific world and it changed many people’s previous notions on tsunami generation.


Papua New Guinea:
-General Information
-Comparing PNG to the U.S.
-Potentinal Hazards in PNG
-Hazard Map for PNG


July 17th, 1998:
-The Event


Post July 17th, 1998:
-Alternative explanations and Conclusions



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