National Tsunami Warning Center, NOAA/NWS

TSUNAMI of 29 May 2010 (Sarigan Volcano, Mariana Islands)

A volcanic eruption occurred on May 29, 2010 near Sarigan Island in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The USGS reported an earthquake of magnitude 4.8 (16.42N 145.97E) at 1147 UTC which apparently coincided with the main eruption. The eruption is being attributed by the Alaska Volcanoes Observatory to a 300m deep seamount south of Sarigan Island.

The NMI/USGS Volcano Activity Notice reports that observers on Sarigan Island "reported hearing a loud explosion from the south and shortly thereafter receiving ash fall". It was also reported that, according to satellite data, ash from this explosion reached at least 40,000 ft above sea level.

The volcanic eruption produced a 3.66-cm amplitude tsunami measured at the US territory Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The first arrival of the tsunami was 12:09 UTC  This tide gage is monitored by the Tsunami Warning Centers and is maintained by the U. Hawaii Sea Level Center. Click on the site name below to see a graph of the tsunami. Listed wave heights are maximum amplitude in cm (above sea level). Observed arrival time is the observed tsunami arrival time in UTC. Approximate tsunami travel time from the volcano to the tide gage at Saipan Island is 22 minutes. 

For additional information about the volcanic eruption see the USGS Volcano Hazard Program.


Tide gage site Tsunami Amplitude (cm above sea level) Arrival time (UTC) Sample Interval (min) Data File (unfiltered) Graphic of Filtered Data
 Saipan, NMI   3.7  12:09 May 29  1  149  Filter1
 Saipan, NMI      3  149