Historical Hazards

Despite less frequent disasters as compared to other Pacific Island Countries, Tonga experiences a high degree of economic and social shock during disaster years: over 40 percent of the population of Tonga is affected during a typical disaster year and Tonga’s economic losses are equivalent to 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The probability and likelihood of natural disasters increasing under future climate events would bring more serious and greater economic losses. In the capital city of Tonga, a cyclone with a 100-year return period, or with a 50% chance of occurring within the current generation, could likely inflict damage equivalent to 60 percent of GDP. Tonga is at risk to tropical cyclones and storms, tsunamis, volcanic activity, and drought.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.


Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards.