Brianna Lijewski and Drew Dawson

What is a Tsunami?

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves that send surges of water onto land. These waves can reach over 100 feet in height. Tsunamis are typically caused by large, undersea earthquakes at tectonic plate boundaries. When the ocean floor at a plate boundary rises or falls suddenly it displaces the water above it. It then launches rolling waves that will become a tsunami. Tsunamis may also be also be caused by underwater landslides or volcano eruptions, and even may be launched by the impact of a large meteorite plunging into an ocean.

The Ring of Fire

80% of the worlds tsunamis happen within the Pacific Ocean's "ring of fire". This place has 452 active and dormant volcanoes, equivalent to over 75% of the of the world's volcanoes. So many tsunamis occur in the "ring of fire" because it is a geologically active area where tectonic shifts make volcanoes and earthquakes common.

Local and Global impacts of Tsunamis

Many of the general local and global impacts of Tsunamis include loss of jobs, especially fishing and costal industries; displacement, people who live near the ocean most importantly, however the tsunami also can travel and devastate people who live more inland too; and Tsunamis can cause economic disorder, mostly revolving around aid for the people who have been displaced or unemployed thanks to the Tsunamis.

2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake

This underwater earthquake created happend on the 26 of December of 2004 (Boxing Day). This earthquake was caused when the Indian Plate was subducted by the burma plate and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean. This National Hazard created 230,210-280,000 deaths, making it one of the most deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. This has changed the physical and cultural landscape of many countries, but most specifically the physical and cultural landscape of Indonesia. In Indonesia there are many costal fishing communities that have lost many income earners as well as boats and fishing gear. This was an important source of fish for local markets, as well as major industrial fishing economic activity.

March 11, 2011- Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

This earthquake was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan. This was the most powerful known earthquake to hit Japan, and the fifth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 133 ft. This earthquake moved Honshu (the main island of Japan) east 8 ft. and shifted Earth's axis between 4 and 10 in. There were a reported 15,883 confirmed deaths, 6,149 injured, and 2,652 people missing. There were also 129,225 buildings totally collapsed, 254,204 buildings "half" collapsed, and 691,766 buildings partially damaged. This tsunami also caused level 7+ meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex. One way the physical landscape and culture of Japan has changed is through the Nuclear Power Plant leaks. At least three of the reactors in Fukushima have been leaking radioactive material into the ocean, thus contaminating many of the fish in the ocean, and the water in the ocean. This has made it unsafe to go anywhere near the ocean around the Fukushima plant and also made it unsafe to fish and eat any of the fish found in the ocean. This has created problems for both the ocean and the market of fish in Japan.

Early Warning Tsunami Detecting Systems

The Buoy- Bottom Pressure Recorder System takes measures of the pressure and temperature of the sea. If the tsunameter takes a measurement that lies within the tsunami threshold then the device will transmit data more frequently to trace the movement of the wave. The buoy then relays the information and commands between the tsunameter and the satellite network it is hooked up to. This system helps the citizens of Tsunami prone countries to make sure the citizens can evacuate the area fast enough.

Economic Impact

The major economic impact for countries being hit by tsunamis is cost. The cost of tsunamis rack up as the damages of houses and work places will be covered by the government, as well as prices for the hospitals for any injuries or sicknesses contracted during the tsunami clean up period. This puts the economy in a very bad state, creating a state of depression in the government and the country.

Humanitarian Organizations

ICRC- An organization that helps the world out when it is in need. Some examples include supporting women in prison in Yemen and helping give prosthetics to war amputees in Lebanon.

OFDA- the official department do U.S. Foreign aid. They help fund other countries problems with our funds, putting us into more debt.


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"File:Shindomap 2011-03-11 Tohoku Earthquake.png." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Apr. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2013

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"Ring of Fire." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 25 Oct. 2013.

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