World: Sketch of global tsunami hazard (as of May 2009)


Large and infrequent, but highly destructive tsunami events generally pose greater mortality risk than the cumulative effect of smaller and more frequent events. The tsunami exposure analysis therefore focuses on extreme events generated by large earthquakes with return periods of approximately 500 years (formally, a probability of 10% of an event occurring in 2009.50 years). Large Asian countries such as Indonesia and Japan account for a large proportion of people living in tsunami prone areas, while SIDS account for the highest proportion of their population. Countries on the Pacific coast of South America, notably Chile and Peru have a very high number of people living in tsunami prone areas in both absolute and relative terms.