The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for tsunami in Victoria, which means that we are responsible for planning for tsunami and for managing response if a tsunami does occur.

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What is a Tsunami?

A tsunami is a series of waves generated by any of the following:

  • Vertical movement of the sea floor after a large earthquake
  • Submarine or coastal eruptions
  • Meteor impacts
  • Submarine or coastal landslides

Even though the overall tsunami risk to Victoria is lower than many other parts of the world, a tsunami may still impact the Victorian coast. The largest tsunami to affect Victoria in recent times occurred in May 1960 after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile.

We’ve put together some important information that can help you learn more about what you can do to prepare for tsunami. You can use the sub-navigation or click on one of the questions below to start preparing now.

Tsunami Warning Systems

The official tsunami warnings centre for Australia is the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre. The Centre is operated by the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia, and was established to provide Australia with an independent capability to detect, monitor, verify and warn the community of tsunami threats.

Tsunami warnings for Victoria can be found on the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre website. VICSES will then share these warnings through the VicEmergency channels.

Types of Tsunami Warnings

National No Threat Bulletin: To advise people that the earthquake has been assessed and that no tsunami threat exists.

National or State/Territory Watch: To advise people that a tsunami threat may exist and that they should look out for further updates.

State/Territory Marine Warning: A tsunami threat does exist and warning of potentially dangerous waves, strong ocean currents and the possibility of localised overflow onto the immediate foreshore.

State/Territory Land Warning: A tsunami threat does exist and warning for low-lying coastal areas of major land inundation, flooding, dangerous waves and strong ocean currents.

State/Territory Cancellation: When a tsunami does not eventuate or the threat has passed.

Tsunami Resources

  • Geoscience Australia. Tsunami information
  • Tsunami: The Ultimate Guide. The Australian Tsunami Advisory Group has put together an interactive online guide that covers everything related to tsunami using videos, animations, spectacular images and in-depth information.


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