Andaman and Nicobar Tsunami History
The Earthquake of June 26, 1941
Date and Origin Time: June 26, 1941, at
The Epicenter of the earthquake was 12.50 North, 92.57 East. The earthquake Location was about 20.5 kms W of Flat Island, 23.6 kms WNW of Yadita (Middle Andaman Island Group), 96.7 kms NNW of Port Blair (South Andaman Islands), 617 kms
SW of Yangon, Myanmar, and 834 kms NNW of Banda Aceh (Sumatra), Indonesia.
Originally the magnitude was estimated as Moment Magnitude, Mw 7.7M but, based on the earthquake's long rupture, a Mw 8.1 was subsequently assigned to this event. Earthquake Focal Depth was Shallow.
The earthquake of June 26, 1941 was one of the strongest in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands of India. The quake generated a tsunami in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of
Bengal which was particularly destructive along the east coast of India.
In the hours following the major earthquake, a series of powerful aftershocks
struck the region. Within 24 hours of the main shock 2 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 struck on
June 27th, 1941. There were 14
earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 up to January
1942. Strong ground motions were felt
throughout the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Highest intensities were experienced at
Baratang Island, Shoal Bay Creek north of Port
Blair and near Port Anson. Also, the quake was
strongly felt over a large geographical region in
the Bay of Bengal particularly from the eastern
coast of India (Coromandel ) to Colombo, Sri
Strong tremors and shocks were also felt in Madras (Chennai), Vishakhapatnam, Calcutta ("Kolkata"), Chandernagar and Cuttack.
At the time of 1941 tsunami, Andaman and Nicobar Islands were under Japanese occupation. Detailed records of damage and death tolls are not available. However, the death toll on
the islands is estimated at over
3,000 and there is no specific
record on the death toll and
damage caused by the tsunami.
Extensive eartquake damage
occurred primarily on the Middle
and South Andaman Islands.
Most of the masonry structures
in and around Port Blair were
badly affected. The earthquake
destroyed Cellular Jail and all buildings on Ross Island, the then
administrative center of the
Although there is little and
confusing information, it is
believed that the 1941 tsunami
impacted the east coasts of
India and Sri Lanka and about 5,000
people on the east coast of India were killed.