Socotra Island, Yemen: Field survey of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

Hermann M. Fritz*, Emile A. Okal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The tsunami of 26th December 2004 severely affected Yemen's Socotra Island with a death at a distance of 4,600 km from the epicenter of the Magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Yemen allowed a detailed assessment of the far-field impact of a tsunami in the main propagation direction. The UNESCO mission surveyed 12 impacted towns on the north and south shores covering from the east to the west tip of Socotra. The international team members were on the ground in Yemen from 11 to 19 October 2006. The team measured tsunami run-up heights and inundation distances based on the location of watermarks on buildings and eyewitness accounts. Maximum run-up heights were typically on the order of 2-6 m. Each measurement was located by means of global positioning systems (GPS) and photographed. Numerous eyewitness interviews were recorded on video. The tsunami impact on Socotra is compared with other locations along the shores of the Indian Ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • 26 December 2004 earthquake
  • Field survey
  • Horn of Africa
  • Indian Ocean
  • Runup
  • Socotra Island
  • Tsunami
  • Yemen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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