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Asia: Highest tsunami risk in Taiwan from major EQ in Manila Trench

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2015

In a study of the tsunami risk from a moment magnitude 9.4 earthquake along the Manila Trench, the worst case scenario predicts the highest risks in southwest Taiwan, specifically, up to four metres at the Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s principal port and the sixth largest container port in the world, according to Guy Carpenter in its “Tsunami Risk from Magnitude 9.4 Earthquake in Manila Trench” report.
 
Other than Taiwan, the other markets studied in the report include the Hong Kong area, Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Manila and Vietnam.
 
For roughly the past four and a half centuries, the Manila Trench has been building up enormous amounts of energy as the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate continue to push against one another. Therefore, Guy Carpenter performed a study based on the worst case scenario and developed inundation maps for coastal areas that could be at greater risk from tsunami from a magnitude 9.4 earthquake event in the Manila Trench.
 
“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 Mr 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 United States Geological Survey states that 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, also sometimes referred to as the “Ring of Fire”.
 
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