Damaging events

Coastal hazard events that have caused  flooding or erosion-related damage on Kosrae are typically related to:

  • Typhoons and tropical storms that track close to Kosrae.
  • Large swell waves from distant storms in the mid-latitudes well north of Kosrae.
  • Very high (king) tides coinciding with larger than normal waves.

The table below provides a summary of known damaging coastal hazard events o have affected Kosrae. Where available, additional information on each event is available via the links or from the drop-down menu above.

DateEventDamageVillages affectedDetails
1400sTyphoonSevereLelu?Oral history of a large typhoon creating sand banks at Lelu which led to the commencement of the development at Lelu.
1790sTyphoonSevereAllMan Sisik - the typhoon that destroyed Kosrae.
Many buildings damaged, some direct deaths. Crops destroyed resulting in famine that caused a large number of further deaths over the following months.
1835-52?Typhoon ?Moderate??Paka los - the dark typhoon.
Wave overwashing only which caused damage.
1874 (15 March)Storm / Typhoon ?MinorUtweSank Bully Haye's ship the Leonora in Utwe Harbour. No reports of other damage.
1891 (4-5 March)TyphoonSevereAllDestroyed virtually all buildings, and much of the food crops. Resulted in a number of deaths. Famine and sickness that followed resulted in further deaths.
1900 (December)Tropical storm / TyphoonMinor?Typhoons in Micronesia (Spennemann, 2004) notes a tropical storm or weak typhoon causing some damage on Ebon, Mile and Namorik in the Marshall Islands. There is a note of a typhoon occurring in 1900 in some Kosrae records but no details are available suggesting little if any damage occurred.
1905 (19 April)TyphoonSevereAllDestroyed virtually all buildings and food crops and resulted in 5 deaths.
1961 (13-14 October)Swell wavesModerateWalung, TafunsakDamaged and washed away buildings in Walung. 2 deaths in Tafunsak.
1979 (November)Swell wavesModerateWalungDamaged and washed away buildings in Walung.
1999 (22 December)High tidesMinorAllSome minor overwashing and flooding.
2000 21 FebruaryHigh tides & wavesMinorMalem, Lelu, TafunsakSome minor overwashing and flooding.
2001 (17 December)Tropical Storm 31 W (Faxial)MinorMalemSome overwashing and flooding.
2008 (February)High tides & wavesMinorMalemSome overwashing and damage to shoreline buildings.
2008 (8-9 December)Swell wavesModerateTafunsak, WalungSignificant overwashing and flooding of properties in Tafunsak. A number of small stores destroyed.
2014 (Dec / Jan)High tidesMinorMalemSome minor overwashing and flooding.

If anyone has any other information on any of the damaging events summarised here, or has details of any other damaging coastal hazard events to have affected Kosrae, please let me know via the feedback form below.

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