Tsunami. By Alexandra Busato April is Tsunami Awareness Month!. Origin of the word.
By Alexandra Busato
April is Tsunami Awareness Month!
Tsunami warning sign
on a seawall in Japan
A tsunami can move hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and smash into the land with waves as high as 100 feet or more.
Tsunamis are hard to notice while they are in the water. They have a small wave height (amplitude), and a very long wavelength. They only grow in height as they reach the shore. This is called shoaling.How a tsunami is formed
Sometimes, there is more than one wave, and the one that comes after could be larger.
They are sometimes called "tidal waves," but tsunami have nothing to do with the tides.
Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand, 2004What a tsunami is like
The tsunami waves and the receding water can destroy buildings in its path.
There is also the danger of flooding, water being contaminated, and fires being started from ruptured gas lines or tanks.
Houses in Sumatra in Indonesia, flooded by the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004.Dangers
On December 26, 2004, the Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed over 300,000 people, and injured many more. When the sea pulled back, many people went on the shore to investigate and most of them died.
This photo was taken when the Boxing Day tsunami hit Thailand on December 26, 2004
Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand, 2004.Famous Tsunami
Another advance warning is if you see the water recede so much that it exposes areas that are usually under water. If that happens, the only way for a person to survive is to run for high ground, or go up a high rise building.
Some zoologists think that animals might be able to sense subsonic waves from an earthquake that would cause a tsunami.
The Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand. A mother runs to tell her children and saves their lives.Signs of an approaching tsunami
Honolulu has the Pacific Tsunami Warning System. It monitors all earthquake activity in the Pacific and gives a tsunami warning if needed. All the countries that border the Pacific Ocean use the System.
Most of them also practice evacuation and other procedures to prepare people for tsunami. In Japan, it’s mandatory.
A tsunami warning system is now being installed in the Indian Ocean because of the Boxing Day Tsunami.
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in HawaiiWarnings and prevention
The effects of a tsunami can also be reduced when there are trees on the shore. Environmentalists have suggested planting trees along the seacoast in areas with tsunami risks. They would take years to grow, but it would be cheaper and last longer than artificial barriers.
Tsunami wall at Tsu, JapanPrevention
If there has been an earthquake and you are near the coast, listen to the radio to learn if there’s a tsunami warning.
Get away from the coast, to higher ground immediately and stay there.
Stay away from the beach. Never go down to the beach to watch a tsunami come in. If you can see the wave you are too close to escape it.
If you see the water pull back too much, this is nature’s warning. You should get away immediately.
Patong Beach in Thailand.Tsunami Guidelines