Kepulauan Bandaneira, Pulau Seram
1629, August 1, 21:30.
The Banda Islands felt a strong earthquake; the ground cracked. Half an hour later, a high mountain of water appeared in the strait between Lonthor and Neira Islands. The tidal wave rolled directly onto Fort Nassau and the coastal settlement of Bandaneira on Neira Island. The water rose 16 m (9 fathoms) above the spring flood tide mark (according to Perrey, the water inundated Fort Nassau by 3 m [9 feet]). The stone breakwater in front of the fortress was washed away. The water invaded the fort with such force that a cannon weighing 1 1/2 tons was dragged 11 m.
Several houses on the shore were washed away, and others were destroyed. The wave rose three times and spun the "Brill", which was riding at anchor in the roadstead, though the ship was not damaged. Many fish were tossed up on shore. In the eastern direction, the tidal waves surged onto the coast of Lonthor Island, where a stone breakwater was also washed away. The rise of water was 4 m (13 feet) here, and a proa, situated at Cape Mandjangi* was dragged inland past the guard post. The fishermen at open sea did not observe any signs of a tidal wave. The earthquake was apparently felt at Ambon (Perrey, 1858; Wichmann, 1918; Berninghausen, 1969; Cox, 1970).
1648, February 29 (mistakenly 2).
In Ambon, in the region of Fort Victoria, there was a considerable earthquake with a strong roar like the pounding of distant surf, but theré was no appreciable damage (Wichmann, 1918). [This reference to surf led to the mistaken assumption of flooding in Ambon Bay in Wichmann and Cox's compendia (Wichmann, 1918; Cox, 1970).]
Buru and Ambon
1657 (or 1659), December.There was an earthquake on the islands of Buru and Ambon and in many other places. Mountains collapsed. Ships riding at anchor at a depth of 55-70 m (30-40 fathoms) spun so that it was feared that they would run aground on the shore, the reefs or the shoals (Montbeillard, 1761; Perrey, 1857 a; Wichmann, 1918; Cox, 1970).
Pulau Teun (Tijau), Nila and Kepulauan Damar Vulcano Tsunami appear in Ambon Bay
1659, November 11.
Teun Island. Strong earthquakes on the 9th, accompanied by a rumble, forced the local residents to flee to Nila and Damar Islands. A strong eruption of Teun Volcano (Funuweri) followed on the llth. The rumble which it caused, like a cannonade, was heard at Ambon and on the Banda Islands. A tidal wave was observed in Ambon Bay and reached a height of 1-1 1/2 m (3-4 feet) (Wichmann, 1918; Cox, 1970).
1659, December (no date).
Island of Buru. Violent Earthquake and seaquake, "through which not only the low beaches, but also the high mountains seemed to be made of a moving substance" The vibrations were also felt on Amboina and other, unindicated islands. Moreover one reads, "Yes, even the ships anchored offshore at 30 or 40 fathoms depth lay through God’s mysterious power through the unsettledness of the sea. The ship rocked as if on lee shore, or as if it hit rocks and sand bars" (Soloviev and Go, 1974).
1673, July 12.
There was a strong earthquake ground cracked; avalanches buried the villages; there was many aftershocks (Sieberg, 1932; Iida et al., 1967; Cox, (1857 a) notes that there was a terrible hurricane on the same day and ships at open sea suffered damage. Wichmann: strong shocks at Ambon on the 12th at 18:00, but makes no tsunami [The fact of the tsunami is dubious].
Ambon and Seram
1674, February 17, between 19:30 and 20:00.
There was a very strong earthquake, which affected all Ambon Island and adjacent islands and left human victims. The shocks which continued all night and on the next day almost without interruption were accompanied by a roar like cannon shots. The first shock was the strongest. At Ambon, the Chinese district was completely flattened. All the stone houses and the church cracked so much that they became unusable. Seventy-nine Chinese and seven Europeans died under the debris of the buildings; 35 people were injured (fractures of the arms and legs). Seven homes collapsed completely at Nako. The roof of the redoubt was cast down at Hitulama. The Middleburg redoubt collapsed.
On the Leitimor and Hitu Peninsulas, the ground cracked at many places and there were numerous avalanches, which were especially strong in the Wawani and Manuzau Mountains. Some streams, especially on the western shore, were blocked. The ground water level oscillated with an amplitude of up to 1-2 m. The water rose up so quickly from deep wells that it could be scooped up in the hands, and then fell back just as quickly. East of the Wai Tomo River, water mixed with blue clay splashed to a height of 5 1/2-6 m out of a crack which had appeared. A very similar gryphon was formed on the south coast of the Leitimor Peninsula at Hutumuri. Flashes of light like "columns" were observed on the western coast of the island before the earthquake.
Immediately after the earthquake, a tsunami occurred on the entire coast of Ambon Island. The northwestern shore of Hitu Peninsula suffered most of all, especially the region of Ceyt, between Lima (Negrilima) and Hile.Here the water rose 80-100 m (40-50 toises), that is, to the top of the coastal hills. The trees, including those in the clove plantations, which covered the calcareous coastal slopes at Mamala, Ela, Sinalo, Kaitetto, Ceyt, Loboleu, almost as far as Lima, were uprooted. Only the higher-lying plantations at Nausihola, Wakal and Hitulama escaped destruction.
Everything was so "jumbled" onshore that it was unrecognizable. In the region of Loboleu, a coastal strip with the width of a musket shot subsided. The shore became very precipitous. Between Ceyt and Hila and at Hila itself, part of the coast also collapsed into the water, carrying with it the settlements of Nukuali, Ehalaa, and Wawani. In all, 2,243 people died on Ambon Island as a result of the tsunami.
According to eyewitness accounts, the water rose up like a mountain. First it inundated Loboleu, and then it split into three streams. One of them spread along the coast to the west to Lima and Urien, another to the east toHile, and the third went out to sea, in the direction to Cape Ryst on Ceram Island, carrying with it trees, houses, domestic livestock and people. The movements of the water were accompanied by a very loud noise. The moving water was black, very dirty and evil smelling; its surface phosphoresced.
According to the eyewitnesses, the surface of the sea in the strait between Ceram and Ambon Islands was calm, and it was agitated and made a deafening noise only off shore, to the distance of a musket shot. People in a boat not far from shore did not notice anything unusual in the state of the sea; the oscillations in its surface were just as weak and small as usual. On the coast, all the proas and other boats were smashed or carried away by the water. Many fish were tossed up on land. The following is known about the effects of the tsunami at particular places.
At Larike at the Dutch redoubt, the, water rose 1/2 m (2 feet). The damage from the flood tide was slight, although it recurred three times.
On Nussatelo Island (Pulu Tiga Islands), the water first rose instantaneously, and then fell so far back to the east, that the bottom was exposed as far as the horizon and the former shore line could be discerned only with difficulty. The water immediately returned and inundated the low-lying parts of the island from one shore to the other, picking up and entraining in whirlpools and currents houses and everything that got in its way. This happened three times.
At Urien and other places, the water rose and then retreated a considerable distance from the shore opposite Nussatelo Island*. These unusual movements of the water washed away fences and small houses.
Near Lima, on the road to Boboleu, at the walls of the redoubt, water mixed with silt and sand rose up and carried away enormous stones, such as two or three soldiers could hardly carry. One woman was dragged 350 m from the redoubt, where she grabbed hold of a tree and saved herself. The soldiers took refuge on the roofs of buildings and in trees; two of 12 men died, six were seriously injured and only four remained unharmed. Part of Binau settlement was washed away and 86 people died. Thirty-nine people, on their way to Hila, also drowned.
At Ceyt, the water rose to the loopholes of the redoubt with such force that it tossed up the mortar. The garrison suffered heavy losses. The water knocked down all the homes at the adjacent settlements of Ceyt, Loboleu and Wassela; 619 people died at Layn. There were no victims at higher-lying Hahntuna, except for those residents who went after the earthquake to pray at the mosques in lower-lying settlements, and drowned.
At Hila, after the earthquake, the Dutch garrison of Fort "Amsterdam" collected on the main square of the fort. Suddenly the water rose and flooded the structures to the roofs. The entire garrison of 31 people drowned. The walls of the fort, 2.5 m thick and 3 m high, were sheared away to the foundation. All the surrounding structures, except for two shacks, suffered the same fate; 1,461 people died.
The plantations at Sinola to the east of the fort were inundated at least three times. The water advanced so quickly that the eye could hardly follow it. The first flood and ebb were rather calm. The second wave ripped up trees and bushes and scattered them about. The third wave carried off everything, leaving in its wake such a bare flat expanse, that one could not make out where the homes of the village and its plantations used to be.
At Wakal, one resident died, and some homes were destroyed.
At Hitulama the water rose 3 m (10 feet) above its usual level; 35 residents and one soldier died. At Mamala (near the northern tip of the Hitu Peninsula), about 40 homes were destroyed but no one died.
On the northeastern tip of the Hitu Peninsula, at Liang, Wai, Tuleu, Thiel and as far as Suli (not far from the Paso Isthffius), the tsunami also did damage, but considerably less. Although the water rose above the usual level, homes did not suffer, and only fences were washed out. Only at Pasir-Kutet (eastern tip of the Hitu Peninsula) did the waves carry off one house.
The Paso Isthffius (Baguala) was not inundated. The water reached only the first structures at the Middleburg redoubt.
On the island of Haruku, Saparua and Laot, the shocks were also strong and were felt all night. At Oma, two coastal hills collapsed into the water and the road cracked. The walls of homes cracked. A tidal wave was observed on the coast of the islands. It reached a height 1 1/2-2 m (6 feet) above the usual sea level. After the earthquake and tsunami, the small island of Itelam, situated near Ambon, supposedly disappeared. In its place, depths of 110 m (60 fathoms) were formed.
On Ceram Island, an earthquake and tsunami occurred mainly in the southwest part of the island, on the Huwamunal Peninsula. Here Cape Ryst, which had never before been covered with water was inundated; great damage was done. A sandy shoal appeared on the western shore of the bay, and Cape Wai (on the east) subsided. The small settlement of Loki at Fort Overberg was inundated with water rising 5 1/2 m (3 fathoms) above the usual level; all structures and boats were smashed, but no one died. All the trees were washed off the plain on Cape Kaula, while the homes there of the employees of the East India Company, were carried into a neighboring forest. Half of the settlement and the church were inundated in Tanuno Bay; however, no one died.
The earthquake .was felt on Buru, Ambelau, Manipa, Kelang, and Boano Islands. On Manipa Island, the water suddenly rose and reached the moat of the redoubt, carrying with it about 50 fish. On Kelang the water rose about 5 m (16 feet) at the guardhouse of the East India Company.
Only a weak earthquake was felt on the Banda Islands; the tidal wave was also slight (Seyfart, 1756; Perrey, 1857 a; Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969).
1674, May 6, 4:30.
There was a shock of moderate strength (one of the numerous recurrent shocks of the earthquake of 17.11.1674), which was accompanied by a booming rumble from the mountains on the Hitu Peninsula. There was a weak tidal wave in Ambon Bay, advancing and retreating three times (Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Tide et al. 1967; Berninghausen, 1969).
1708, November 28, between 22:00 and 23:00.
A tidal wave burst into Ambon Bay with a loud noise and inundated the region as far as the homes on the slopes of Mount Batu Merah, east of the city. Streams flowed backwards, and bridges were smashed. Then the water again surged back in a strong current and retreated so far that it was scarcely visible. Both the flood and ebbs lasted so long that one could count to 100-150 during a single flood or ebb.The process lasted until 3:00 on the following day, after which these waves were not observed. A similar phenomenon occurred at midnight in Baguala Bay. No such phenomena were observed on other areas of the coast (Perrey, 1857 a; Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969).
1710, five weeks before April 10 (March 6?).
There was a "large and terrible" earthquake at Bandaneira. The surface of the earth did not repose for a month. Most of the homes were substantially damaged. The sea repeatedly surged on to land as far as Fort Nassau and left fish in front of the water gates (Wichmann, 1918; Sieberg, 1932; Iida et al., 1967; Cox, 1970).
1711, September 5, between 22:00 and 23:00. Ambon.
There were tidal waves, like the waves of 28.XI.1708, which lasted till 8:30. On September 6, the water in the bay rose and fell three times at half hour intervals. The rise of water occurred very quickly and was 1.2 m (4 feet). Two homes were destroyed. Two children drowned on the road at Hotiwa. The tsunami occurred mainly on the eastern coast of the island. In Baguala Bay, a tidal wave was observed which advanced and retreated 13-14 times, but it was not noticed at Poka. At Kampung-Mardjika, the water left a well [the result of an earthquake?].
On the islands of Haruku, Saparua, Laot and Banda, a strong earthquake occurred at the same time as a tidal wave appeared in Ambon Bay; 13-14 shocks were recorded (Perrey, 1857 a; Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969). 1722, October, no date, 8:00.Djakarta (Batavia).
Ambon, Haruku, Saparua, and Laot
1754, August 18, immediately after 15:30.
There was an earthquake on the islands of Ambon, Haruku, Saparua, and Laot. It began with undulating movements, followed immediately by a strong shock. At Ambon, a bazaar, resting on 60 stone pillars, collapsed; several other buildings were also destroyed; four people died in the debris. The other homes cracked. Cracks two fingers or more across appeared in the ground at many places. A mud flow burst from Mount Batu Mera* east of the city. The walls of buildings were damaged at Hila as well as at Hitulama, on the north coast.
At Hutumuri, on the eastern coast of the island, a tidal wave followed a strong earthquake. On Haruku Island, water gushed up at many places and some walls of buildings collapsed. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami, which however, soon stopped. On Saparua Island, the earthquake did not do substantial damage to structures. A tidal wave was also noticed here. An earthquake was felt on Manipa Island (Perrey, 1857 a; Wichmann, 1918; Sieberg, 1932; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969; Cox, 1970).
1754, September 7, between 12:00 and 12:30.
On Haruku Island, there was an earthquake almost as strong as the one on August 18. It was accompanied by a tidal wave (Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969; Cox, 1970).
1763, September 12 (1), about 17:00.
There was a strong earthquake, lasting 4 minutes, on the Banda Islands. The rumble was like cannon shots. In the evening and at night, another 16 weaker shocks were felt. Three quarters of the homes at Bandaneira were left in ruins. Enormous chunks collapsed from Panenberg Mountain. On Lonthor Island, the earthquake was especially strong at the settlement of. Waier on the eastern coast and at Urin. It was also strong on Ai Island. The earthquake was felt to a lesser extent on Pisang and Rozengain Islands.
During the first shocks, the Sea level fell 9 m (30 feet).and then quickly rose (in less than 3 minutes). A large area of land was flooded. Seven people died (Mallet, 1854; Perrey, 1858; WichMann, 1918; Sieberg, 1932; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969; Cox, 1970).
1775, April 19, about 1:00.
At Ambon, there were strong uridulating oscillations, which were accompanied by a dull underground rumble'and lasted 5 minutes. The wall of the rice storehouse cracked and a small pavilion collapsed. The water in the bay oscillated greatly. A moored ship was pulled forcefully backwards and forwards (Mallet, 1854; Perrey, Wichmann, 1918; Iida et al. 1967; Berninghausen, 1969; Cox, 1857 a; 1970).
1841, November 26, 6:00 (according to other sources, at 6:30).
At Bandaneira, there was a weak horizontal shock. It lasted more than 1 minute (according to other sources, from 2 to 3 minutes). Fifteen minutes later, a tidal wave surged with great force onto the south coast of Neira Island. It reached a height of 2 1/2-3 m (8-9 feet), or, according to other sources, 2 m (6 feet) above the level of the maximal flood tides, so that the water came up to the gates of Fort Nassau. The flood and ebb continued for more than 45 minutes. This phenomenon occurred during an ebb (Perrey, 1858; Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al, 1967; Berninghausen, 1969).
Ambon, Buru and Ambalau
1841, December 16.
There was an earthquake and tsunami on the islands of Ambon, Buru and Ambelau. At Ambon, at about 2:00, a not particularly strong shock was felt. It was followed in about 15 minutes by a tidal wave, which reached a height of 1 1/2 m (4-5 feet) above the high water level and repeatedly rolled onto the coast of Ambon Bay. At Galala*, west of Ambon, several huts of local residents were washed away. On Buru Island, and also on Ambelau Island, a considerably stronger earthquake occurred between 1:00 and 2:00.
It was accompanied on Ambelau Island by a large tidal wave, which washed away many huts and mosques in the coastal villages. The tremors continued on December 17 to 21 (Wichmann, 1918; Sieberg, 1932; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969).
1852, November 19 (10).
At Ambon, there were shocks supposedly accompanied by strong "movements" of the sea (Perrey, 1855 b; Wichmann, 1918).
Naira, Haruku, Ambon
1852, November 26, 7:40.
On Neira Island, there were strong vertical shocks, which rapidly became undulating oscillations of growing force, which lasted 5 minutes. All the residents ran to the streets. It was impossible to stand without holding onto something. Most of the residences on the island were left in piles of ruins, and the homes which remained standing became unsuitable for habitation because of the numerous cracks. The part of Papenberg Mountain on which the signal station was situated collapsed. Numerous cracks appeared in the ground on the coast. The earthquake did similar destruction on Lonthor Island as well. It was accompanied by a roar like cannon shots. After the earthquake, there were many recurrent shocks, including some rather strong ones.
The effects of the earthquake were also serious on the islands of Rozengain and Ai. At Ambon, strong undulating tremors lasted 5 minutes with no destruction. The earthquake was similar in its effects at Hila and Larike. On Haruku Island, the walls of the church at Aboru and the walls of Fort Zelandia cracked. Many buildings were damaged on Saparua Island. The earthquake was felt on the islands of Laot, Buru, Ceram, and possibly on the islands of Batjan and Ternate. The flagstaff and trees swayed strongly at Labuha on Batjan Island.
At Bandaneira, 1/4 hour after the earthquake, the sea rose and the frightened residents took to the hills. The bay alternately dried up quickly, then filled with water. A ship riding at anchor at a depth of 9 m (5 fathoms) sat on the bottom twice. The water rose to the roofs of the storehouses and homes and smashed all the doors, inundated Fort Nassau and reached the foot of the hill on which Fort Belgica was situated, tossing a fair amount of fish on land. The strong oscillations in level had ceased by 13:00. According to the account of the captain of the brig "Hai," before the earthquake, the ship was riding at anchor at a depth of. 11 m (6 fathoms) between the islands of Neira and Lonthor; the length of the anchor chain was 65 m (35 fathoms).
The seaquake was very strong. Then, at 8:10, the sea which had risen quickly, surged off to the southeast with unbelievable speed. During the strongest ebb, the depth of water fell to 7 m (3 3/4 fathoms). All the reefs around dried up. After this, at still greater speed than it retreated, the water rose and ran 65 proas aground which a few minutes prior had been left on dried bottom. Between the start of the ebb tide and the maximal flood tide, when the depth of water was 13 m (7 1/4 fathoms), 20 minutes elapsed. Then the water once' again surged back with terrible speed, destroying and carrying away everything. The ship dropped once again, quickly and very dangerously. Twenty minutes later, the water rose again; the depth of the water was 14 1/2 m (8 fathoms).
This time the wave was as much stronger and more fearsome as it was higher. It inundated the breakwater and the embankment, where most of the crews of the proas had taken refuge, and carried 243 them off. Sixty people died. Many proas, small and large, were tossed onto the embankment and destroyed. Buildings standing on the embankment were washed away. After this the water fell 8 m (26 feet). Waves just as terrible recurred another four times, with the same period. At 10:30, the oscillations in level began to abate. No considerable oscillations in sea level were observed on the north coast of Neira Island or on the south coast of Lonthor Island. On Ai Island, the sea level was a metre (a few feet) higher than the usual flood tide level. At Ambon, soon after the earthquake, a rise of water began in the bay. It was followed by a rapid ebb. This process occurred a good 20 times before 14:00. The water level oscillated at a 74 cm range, surpassing the usual flood tide level by approximately 20 cm.
The tsunami was also observed at Hila and Larike. On Saparua Island, a tidal wave advanced 4 times between 8:30 and 11:00. The second and fourth waves reached a height of 3 m (10 feet) above the level of the highest flood tides. In the vicinity of the settlements of Saparua and Tidjau*, the water encroached 120 m (400 feet) inland. After 11:00, the floods and ebbs began to diminish gradually, but continued until late evening. At other settlements on the island, Hatuana* on the northeast coast, Kulor on the north coast, Porto on the west coast, and Sirisori in Saparua Bay, only a weak tsunami was observed. The tsunami was noticed on Haruku Island at the coastal settlements of Hulaliu and Wassu, on Laot Island at the settlements of Ameth, Akon, Laintu, and on Buru Island. On Ceram Island at the settlements of Amahai and Wahai [?], the water flooded homes near the beach; many proas were washed away.
The tsunami was not noticed on Batjan Island. In 1853, great physiographic changes were discovered between Kai Island and the two islands of Pulu Pisang*, which belong to the same group. These changes were ascribed to the earthquakeand tsunami of 26.XI.1852. The surface of these islands was still soft and had a yellow golden color. Three new small islands were discovered between the islands of Tayandu (Trando) and Kaimer (Kauer). These islands were composed of fragments of corals and yellow sand. As was related, one of them was later washed away, while the other two were covered over with shrubs. In 1854, a new island was discovered between the islands of Pulu Ergodan* and Pulu Hodin* (according to other sources, it was situated in the region of Yut* Island, at 5 °35' S. and 133 °E.).
The island was round, 250 m in diameter, and protruded above a bank with depths of no more than 2 m (1 fathom). It was made up of clay and was covered with fresh shrubbery (Perrey, 1854, 1856, 1857 a; Rudolph, 1887; Dutton, 1904; Krümmel, 1911; Milne, 1912 b; Wichmann, 1918; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969). The report of the Chilean tsunami (Anon., 1961) mentions that the tsunami of 1852 was observed in the Caroline Islands.
1852, December 24, 14:30.
At Bandaneira (?), there were two recurrent shocks of the earthquake of November 26. Several homes which had withstood the preceding earthquakes collapsed. Two spice plantations which had not been affected previously were reduced to complete disorder. A large number of proas in the roadstead and off the Coast of Ceram Island, and also floating villages off Gorong Island were inundated and smashed on shore with the inhabitants. There were victims. About 400 proas were wrecked. The effects were similar on the islands of Tioor, Ambon, Saparua, and Haruku (at Hulaliu, Orna, Wassu) and also at the settlements of Ameth, Akon, and Laintu on Laot Island (Ferrey, 1854, 1857 a).
Haruku and Saparua
1854, January 4.
Rather strong shocks, accompanied by a loud underground rumble, were felt on the shores of the strait between the islands of Haruku and Saparua on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. The direction of the shocks was from the southwest to the northeast. After the first shock on January 4, strong oscillations of sea level began. The sea flooded the beach on the coast of the strait. The shocks did not do any damage and were not felt on Ambon Island (Perrey, 1856, 1857 a; Wichmann, 1918).
1859, July 20, about 20.00.
On the west coast of Lonthor Island, there was an underground shock and rumble, like a cannon shot. At first it was thought that the battery at Bandaneira was shooting, but this was a mistake, since after some time, more shots were heard and the sea began to rise slowly above its usual level. Then it fell, and rose again about twice and then returned to the level which existed before the small tsunami.
1859, September 25, evening.
There was such a strong shock on the islands of Lonthor and Neira that "it made the impression of, an irresistible force, preparing to destroy the archipelago." The sea "rushed" onto the southern shore of the island with enormous force, then retreated and gradually calmed (Perrey, 1864 b; Wichmann, 1922; Heck, 1934, 1947; Ponyavin, 1965; Iida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969).
1882, October 10, 23:00.
At Bandaneira, there was a rather strong earthquake lasting 5 minutes, followed by oscillations of the sea, lasting until 2:00 (Van der Stok, 1884).
1899, September 30, 1:42.
There was a destructive earthquake and tsunami with source off the southérn coast of CéramIsland. The areas of the coast which suffered mainly were investigated by the well-known Dutch geologist, Verbeek, who happened to be in the vicinity of the island. The governor of the province of Ambon gatheréd much information about this natural catastrophe. A number of reports came directly to the observatory at Djakarta (Batavia). It should be mentioned that no information about the earthquake was received from the internal regions of the island because of the lack of residents of European origin there.
According to Verbeek, the earthquake was felt with greatest force at the settlements of Hatusua, Paulohl, Makariki, Tehoro and Wolu and was connected with a shift along the tectonic fault which separates the peninsula in the southwestern part of. Ceram Island from the main part of the island.
In fact, according to the reports of an official, sent to the afflicted region to help the population, three cracks formed in the ground at Waisaffiu. Sizeable displacements occurred along these cracks, as a result of which one flank of the fault was elevated by 0.3 m relative to the other. At other places, water was ejected from the cracks.
At Amahai, three large cracks appeared on the coast. They reached a width of 1/2 m and a depth of 1 m in places. One of them stretched to the Polapa. Numerous avalanches occurred in the mountains. Avalanches were observed in the region of Paulohi, on the stretch of coast between Kawa and Taniwil and at Boano.
According to some reports, strange glows appeared above the sea in the pleistoseismic zone. The few details about the effects of the earthquake at particular places amount to the following.
At Waisaffiu, churches were damaged. At Piru, a church was also damaged. The ground cracked everywhere, and the frightened residents decided to transfer the settlement to higher ground.
At Kawa, six huts collapsed, and some others cracked partly because the ground had settled by 0.5 m.
Six homes also collapsed at Boano-Serani; most of the others cracked. At a kirk, equipment fell, the door posts came away etc., and the church was left unsuitable for use. The 'stone memorials in the cemetery remained standing.
At Boano-Islam, which made up another part of Boano settlement, a mosque was half destoyed and two stone homes collapsed, as a result of which a little girl died.
On the northwest coast of Ceram Island, in the Taniwil-Lisabata region, all the settlements suffered from the tremors to some extent; at Lisabata, for example, several homes crumbled.
At Laimu, the earthquake was not very strong. On the south coast of Ceram Island, east of Teluti Bay, some damage may have been done only at Afang. At Wahai and Waru and on Geser Island, the earthquake was felt, but no damage was done.
At Saparua, a school, a kirk, and a doctor's home were slightly damaged. Kirks were heavily damaged on the islands of Haruku and Laot. The earthquake was strong on Ambon Island, but did not do any damage there.
More or less strong tremors were felt on the islands of Obi (at Laiwui), Batjan (at Labuha), Ternate, at Gorontalo, where a crack supposedly appeared in a carriage shed, and on the Banda Islands. The earthquake was felt on Boano Island, at Kajeli, the Kai Islands, the Sula Islands (at Sanana), Bangai Island and at Manado; they were felt weakly at Tolitoli, Tondano, and on Halmahera Island. No information was received about the effects of the earthquake on the islands of Leti and Wetar. Thus, the area of perceptible tremors apparently extended in a northwest-southeast direction.
On many areas of the coast of Ceram Island, large massifs of loose materials, mainly Quarternary sandy-clay and rubbly-pebbly alluvial deposits, tumbled into the water. These slumps, together with assumed tectonic dislocations on the bottom of large bays, generated tsunami waves, which reached a height of 9 m (16 m according to the governor of Ambon) in some places. In accordance with the nature of their generation, the height of the waves varied markedly from place to place.
At Paulohi, an area of coast 260 m long and 100-150 m wide went under water together with quarters of the districts of Paulohi and Saffiasuru, which made up the former settlement of Elpaputi. In place of the previous gently sloping shore, a steep cliff 8.8 m high was formed. Around the shore at this place, where the depth of the bottom had been 20 m (11 fathoms), the bottom was more than 75 m (40 fathoms) deep after the earthquake. The tidal wave arising as a result of the slump immediately inundated the remaining part of the shore terrace. The wave reached a height of 9 m (15 m according to other sources), passed 170 m inland from the former shore line and washed away ail the structures except for two homes. Only 130 of 1,700 residents were saved (according to other sources, 60 men and 40 women and children were saved).
From Paulohi, the wave spread in every direction, and to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the coastal relief, flooded all the coast of Elpaputi Bay. Makariki and Amahai, situated at the top of a funnel-shaped inlet opening to the northwest, suffered especially. The tsunami arrived here 5-10 minutes after the earthquake and flooded the settlement to a height of 6.4 m. All the homes below this mark were destroyed, except for the more solidly constructed stone kirk; 350 people drowned. A bare expanse remained in place of the northern part of the settlement. An iron flagpost on the coast was ripped from its stone foundation, carried 200 m along the 100 0 azimuth and crumpled. The chief of the station was picked up by the wave and tossed onto one of the huts, which immediately collapsed; however, hè was able to get out of the debris safely. The fortifications were completely inundated and partly destroyed, but the soldiers escaped by climbing onto the rampart; the water stopped only 1/2-1 m short of them.
The water also devastated the southern slope of the cape, which bounds Amahai Bay. It swamped a point situated at a height of 8.3 m above sea level and left bits of coral reef on the tree branches here. Since this stretch was uninhabited there was no damage, but had the wave been only 2 m higher, none of the residents of Amahai would have escaped.
To the southwest of Paulohi, the tsunami did damage at the settlements of Uwalohi and Tumaleu, on the southwestern tip of the bay. Latu suffered to a lesser extent; apparently, Sanau suffered not at all. After the wave receded, a layer of silt remained on the coast of Elpaputi Bay.
There was no damage from the tsunami at the settlements on the south coast of Ceram Island, betwen Elpaputi Bay and Teluti Bay (Polapa, Sepa, Tamilo, Haja).
In Teluti Bay, according to the local village elders (Verbeek could personally investigate only Laimu settlement here), Tehoru was completely destroyed. There a section of coast together with a settlement tumbled into the water. No reports were received about collapses on other areas of the coast of the bay. According to the governor of Ambon, the wave reached a height of 12 M at Tehoru. About 10 minutes after the earthquake, the settlement of Laimu was flooded by a wave which came from the west. It encroached 270 m inland and reached a height'of 9 m in the western part of the settlement and 7 m in the eastern part. Houses and trees were washed away.
There is no information about the effects of the tsunami to the east of Teluti Bay.
In Piru Bay, the strongest wave was registered at Hatusua. According to a report which reached Ambon, the residents of this settlement were awakened shortly before 2:00 by strong tremors, which intenslfi-ed for a long time. The frightened residents ran from their huts, and heard a loud rumble from the sea, which was rapidly approaching the village. They had not all had time to climb to the nearby hills, when a wave fell on the settlement. It encroached 150-200 m inland and reached a height of 4 m (according to later measurements by Verbeek, the height of the wave was 2 m above the flood tide level or 2.4 m above the ebb tide level). The settlement was almost totally destroyed, and all the homes, which however, were not very sturdy, were "sheared off." An iron flagpost standing on shore was ripped off its stone foundation and tossed 150-200 m along the 93° azimuth. The single public structure in the region, the jai4 hardly suffered; only an outside door, the lobby and a barbed wire fence were damaged. Ninety-five people drowned and 65 were injured. The other residents were left destitute. After the water retreated, the shore was covered with a layer of black mud and smelled of hydrogen sulfide. North of Hatusua, at Waisamu, and south, at Kairatu, the wave did not do any damage, possibly because these places are cut off from Hatusua by small capes. The western shore of Piru Bay did not suffer from the tsunami. According to residents only one large wave was observed in Elpaputi, Teluti and Piru Bays. At Kawa (northwestern shore of Ceram Island), a stretch of coast about 100 m long and 60 m wide collapsed and went under the water; nine people died.
The collapse caused a small wave, which flooded the land to 45 m beyond the new shore line and reached a height of 1.7 m. There was no damage. Further to the northeast, at Taniwil, a section of alluvial coast about 50 m wide collapsed into the sea. Two men working there died. The collapse generated a wave which rose to a height of, 4.6 m. A large boat riding 80 m from the shore was washed out to the sea, and two others were smashed to smithereens. The homes in the settlement did not suffer, since they were located at a height of about 4.5 m above sea level. The northeastern and eastern coasts of Ceram Island did not suffer from the tsunami. However, slight oscillations in the sea level were noticed at Wahai. The waves which formed off the south coast of the island, primarily in Elpaputi and Teluti bays, spread rather far to the south. The low-lying settlements of Itawaka, Nolot and Ihallau on the northeast coast of Saparua Island were partially inundated; there were, however, almost no victims. The locality of Hatawanu* on the north coast of Saparua Island, suffered especially. Homes and boats situated on the coast were washed away and smashed.
The settlements of Tomaleu and Hualoi were completely devastated. At Saparua, the water invaded homes situated near the shore and ruined furniture and other household belongings. A small Indonesian ship was sunk in the roadstead. A ship riding at anchor off the east coast of Ambon Island near the Paso isthmus was capsized by the waves and sank as well. In the roadstead at Ambon, at 2:15, a noise was heard as from a waterfall, and a ship, which was riding with the bow to the southwest, was spun 1800. For five minutes the noise gradually died down, and then the ship turned again to the southwest. The succession of flood and ebb currents, at gradually increasing intervals, stopped at 7:00. In Ambon Bay, the water began to rise and fall about an hour after the earthquake. The shore was hardly inundated, but in the morning it was discovered that the waves had washed away all the fishing gear there. The movements of the water stopped by 6:30.
The tsunami showed up distinctly on the Banda Islands. About 1/2 hour after the earthquake, the water burst with force into the fairways leading to Bandaneira and Lonthor. By 2:45, the rise of water had reached its highest level, about 1 m above the regular flood tide mark. The movements of the water continued until dawn with gradually diminishing force. Stones of different sizes were tossed by the waves onto the coast of the islands of Neira, Lonthor and Rozengain. In the Kalobi* district, on the north coast of Api Island, the waves penetrated 50m(28 fathoms) inland and washed away one hut. A strip of shore 5 m wide was washed out. In Kalobi harbor, 13 Indonesian ships and boats sank. In Bandaneira Bay, ships were run aground; a moorage and a booth near Fort Nassau were shifted. No accidents were reported. The tsunami was also observed in Kajeli Department (Boano Island), where it did not do any damage (Milne, 1900 b; Anon., 1901; Verbeek, 1901; Rudolph, 1904; Montessus de Ballore, 1906; Sia-e-ig, 1932; Severit, 1933; Heck, 1947; Gutenberg, Richter, 1949, 1954; Ponyavin, 1965; lida et al., 1967; Berninghausen, 1969). Richter (1963): 29.IX; 17h03m; 300S, 128.5°E.; M= 7.8.
1922, February 22 at Amahai (Ceram Island, southwest) at 19:45, there was an earthquake with a forte of a degrees; preceded by a roar. According to reliabIe accounts of fishermen, two underground shocks occurred again towards midnight and the sea was very rough all this time. No earthquake -- was registered on the instruments (Visser, -1923).
1950, October 8. A call for help came from Ambon Island because of a strong earthquake and gigantic tidal wave. A large number of victims was feared (SN, 1951, vol. 41, No. 1; Hamamatsu, 1966). The 286 existence of this great wave (according to press accounts, it had a height .of 200 m [?]) could not be confirmed from the tide gauge records (Murphy, Ulrich, 1952; Berninghausen, 1969). [8.X; 3h23m09 s; 4 0 S., 128 °E.; M--- 7.3.].
1965, January 24 there was a large destructive earthquake on Sulawesi Island.
It was accompanied by a tsunami. It was preceded by foreshocks for a week. According to press accounts, 3,000 homes and 14 bridges were destroyed; 71 people were killed. The earthquake was felt on Halmahera Island and at Davao, in the Philippines. The tsunami destroyed 90% of the houses of Sanana City and also did damage to Namlea on Buru Island and on Mangole Island (SN, 1965, vol. 55, No. 3; Roth, 1966; Hake, Cloud, 1967; Iida et al. 1967i- Berninghausen, 1969.
Bandaneira, Maluku Tengah
Tsunami was generated by an M 5.9 Magnitude earthquake with coordinate of 5.0 oS and 130.0o E, and depth of 33 km. There 81 casualities recorded related to the event. (Soetardjo et al, 1985; Latief et al., 2000).
A 3-m high tsunami was generated by a seaquake that occurred on 12 March 1983. The quake had magnitude of 5.8 and happened at 25 km deep with latitude and longitude of 4.4 oS and 128.5oE. There was no casualities reported associated with the tsunami (Soetardjo et al, 1985; Latief et al., 2000; Arkwright, D., 2008).