Guy Carpenter’s new scenario risk report for the Asia Pacific region predicts the greatest tsunami risk in the area lies in Taiwan.
The report, titled “Tsunami Risk from Magnitude 9.4 Earthquake in Manila Trench,” provides an in-depth study of the tsunami risk from a magnitude 9.4 earthquake along the Manila Trench, including the Hong Kong area, Taiwan, Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Manila and Vietnam. Using that worst-case scenario, the report predicts the highest risk is in southwest Taiwan—a tsunami up to four meters at the Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s principal port and the sixth-largest container port in the world.
“The Tohoku tsunami event of 2011 and the previous severe events in Chile in 2010 and the Indian Ocean in 2004 have proved that tsunami is a very real and potentially very severe peril with the capability to cause devastation over a broad area. This is particularly the case for the Asia Pacific region, where events triggered almost anywhere around the Pacific Rim can strike multiple countries,” said Mike Owen, head of analytics for Asia Pacific.
The five most important trans-ocean tsunamis of the 20th century all occurred in the Pacific Ocean, the report said. The United States Geological Survey states that 81 percent of the world’s largest earthquakes occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, also sometimes referred to as the “Ring of Fire.”