1860, October 6, after midnight.
An earthquake was felt on the south coast of the Halmahera Island. A tidal wave fell on a proa at the southern tip of the island, but did not do any damage. After this phenomenon had been repeated 10-12 times, the surface of the sea became like a mirror (Wichmann, 1922; Cox, 1970).
1876, May 28, 12:30
In Buru Island, there was an earthquake followed by a tsunami. After eight strong shocks, which lasted, together with a number of weak ones, 3 minutes, recurrent tremors were registered from time to time, which became very perceptible and frequent by 18:00.
A seaquake was felt on proas at open sea. At Kajeli, several homes were damaged, and a minaret collapsed at Masarete. A rather strong shock, lasting 50 seconds, was felt in Ambon and Hila and on the northern coast of Ambon Island. The tsunami entered Kajeli Bay seven times, reaching, however, a height of only 0.3 m (1 foot) above the usual water level .(Wichmann,. 1922).
Moluccas, Buru Island
There was an eruption on the Maluku Islands. It was accompanied by numerous aftershocks. At Kajeli, in Buru Island, shocks lasting 50 seconds were so strong that portable lamps and other objects were overturned. In Ambon, on Haruku Island, and at Wahai, there were rather strong tremors lasting 20-30 seconds. There was an earthquake on Saparua Island. There were tremors lasting 15 seconds on Ternate Island; lamps rocked heavily; windows left ajar opened in some homes.
At Bandaneira, there was a strong shock lasting 6 seconds. Half an hour after the earthquake, the coastal village of Djikomurasa, situated 28 km (15 miles) west of Kajeli, at a height of 0.75 m above sea level, was inundated.by the sea three times. The movements of the water were regular with a period of about 20 minutes. The sea retreated about 300 m beyond the lowest low tide mark, and. then flooded by 1.2 m a plain 800 m long and 50 m wide, on which Was situated a village, right up to the slopes of the coastal mountains.
Three out of the 46 homes of the settlement were destroyed, and. a large number of proas riding at anchor were tossed onto the foot of the mountains. The residents escaped, but the material losses were considerable. In the rest of Kajeli Bay, the sea supposedly maintained its usual level. At Wahai, at about 14:00, the sea rose 0.3 m and washed away the boats lying on the shore. The rises in level, gradually abating, continued until 17:00 (Anon., 1887).
1892, November 18, after 2:00.
At Kajeli, there were strong eartquakes lasting 7 - 8 minutes; there was still another light shock in the evening of the following day. There were rather strong shocks at Ambon, Hatusua, Kairatu (Ceram Island), and weak shocks at Tifu and Masarete. An hour after the earthquake, there were slight oscillations in sea level at Kajeli (Figee, Onnen, 1893 b).
1903, March 30, 11:30.
At Tifu, Masarete and Kajeli, there were three horizontal tremors of consilerable force lasting 5 minutes. The 268 direction was from the northeast. They were felt at Buru. They were registered by mechanical seismographs at Djakarta (Batavia) at 3 h26.7m. Immediately after the earthquake, oscillations in sea level, lasting /232 about 45 minutes, were observed at Tifu and Masarete. The water rose to a height of 1 m (Anon., 1905 a; Rudolph, 1905). Milne (1912 a): 30.111; 3h23m; 3 0 S, 126 °E
1915, May 23, 5:50.
At KaiManil (NeWCninea), a shock lasting 2-3 seconds was felt. Then another three. Strong shocks were felt. Buildings swayed heavily. At night of the 22nd to 23rd of May there was a strong thunderstorm and a downpour. The level of the sea rose 1/2 m above the level of the spring high tides (Anon., 1917; Visser, 1928).
1937, November 6, 18:30.
At Fakfak (New Guinea), there was a weak seaquake, accompanied by a tidal wave 1/2 m high (De Boer, 1939).
Tual (Kais Island) and Papua
1938, February 2, 3:34.
There was a strong earthquake on the east of Indonesia, including the west of New Guinea, with a maximal intensity of 7 degrees (VIII - Rossi-Forel). On the Kai Islands at Tual, stucco collapsed, domestic equipment was smashed and clocks stopped. On New Guinea, at Fakfak, the lighthouse was put out of service. At Tanahmerah, regular, but not very strong, oscillations occurred for about 1 1/2 minutes; some residents did not wake up; empty bottles fell from a shelf.
At Tanahtingi, the earthquake was perhaps somewhat stronger. It was felt all over the western part of New Guinea, as far as Merauke, and even at Darwin (Australia). There were many recurrent shocks. Reports were received that near the epicenter, at 5.43° S., 132 ° E., in the Kai group of islands, a new small island rose from the 37' water. The island was 56 m long, 52 M wide and 5-6 m high. In the epicentral area the greatest damage was done not by earthquake, but by the tsunami which it generated. In Djamru settlement on the Tajandu Islands, 24 homes were destroyed and eight were heavily damaged.
At Banda Elat, where, as at Tual, the height of the wave was estimated at 1 m, bridges were washed away and the moorage was damaged. At Bandaneira, a public pier and a goods warehouse were damaged; the damage to privately owned structures was slight. The tsunami also appeared at Fakfak, where only slight damage was done (Berlage, 1940; Soetadi, 1962; Berninghausen, 1969; Cox, 1970). Gutenberg, Richter (1954): 1.11; 19h04m18s; 5.25 ° S., 130.5 °E.; M=8.2.
1938, February 13, 3:35.
There was an earthquake on Pandjang Island at Fakfak. Rocks collapsed; the motor stopped at the lighthouse, and the cowl fell off the lamp; stucco cracked a bit in homes. Between 4:00 and 8:00, the lighthouse keeper observed tidal waves about 1/2 m high (Berlage, 1940).
On the day, there was a destructive earthquake (2.4°S, 126.1°E; depth 6 km; M 7.4) recorded in Sulabes Island that followed by a tsunami. The large earthquake and tsunami were initiated by the foreshocks in period of a week. Press reported that about 3,000 houses and 71 bridges were destroyed during the event and killed 71 people.
The earthquake was also felt in Halmahera Island and in Davao, Philippines. In addition, the tsunami destroyed about 90% of houses in the city of Sanana. There were also damages found in Namlea, Buru Island, and Mangole Island (SN 1965, vol 55, No. 3; Roth, 1966; Hake, Cloud 1967; Lida et al., 1967, Berninghausen 1969, in Soloviev and Go, 1974).
Kaimana, Papua Barat
Tsunami was recorded happened in Kainama, West Papua, generated by an earthquake with M 6.8 (epicentre 4.5°S; 134.45°E, depth of 26 km). No casualties were reported Arkwright, D. (2008)
Tobana and Taliabu
Tsunami with a height of 1.8 metres occurred in Tobana and Taliabu, North Maluku. The tsunami was generated by an earthquake with magnitude of M 7.6 and its epicentre 2.0°S; 128.4°E (Latief et al., 2000; Arkwright, D. ,2008)
A five metres high tsunami destroyed Blantak, Banggai on 4 May 2000. The tsunami that killed 50 people generated after a M 7.5 earthquake that happened in 1.1°S and 123.7°E, with the depth of 33 km. (Arkwright, D. ,2008).
Based on the Report on Regional Office of Centre of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (Pusat Vulkanologi dan Mitigasi Bencana Geologi - PVMBG) there was an earthquake happened in Buru Island, Maluku Province, on Tuesday, 14th March 2006. The earthquake’s epicenter was at 3.5960°S and 127.2110°E or about ± 105 km west of Ambon City. Its magnitude was 6.7 Mw and happened in 30 km deep. The earthquake occurred on the land due to the fault activity in the southeast of the Buru Island.
There were 3 people dead and one wounded in the village of Batujungku. Houses were reported damaged in villages of Pela, Batujungku, Wailawa and Waimorat, Sub-District Batabual, Buru Island District. Several houses in the village of Pela collapsed due to earthquake shaking. Ground crack related to the earthquake was found along the approximately 500 meters in the village of Pela. Liquefaction was also defined around the locations characterized by dryness of community wells and filled with sand.
In the village of Pela, it was reported that the earthquake contribute to rise the sea wave after around 7 minutes from major earthquake. According to residents in the village of Pela and Batujungku, the seawater had been receded before the tidal wave. High wave on the coastline was reported about 1 metre, and about 40 cm in Pela Village in which situated about 80 meters from the shoreline. No impact of tidal waves were recorded in other villages.