How they occur

Tsunamis are caused by earthquakes on the seafloor. Large slabs of rock will move against each other, causing the water to move. This forms a wave that will move away from the slabs of rocks.

There are other ways that tsunamis can occur, such as underwater volcanic eruptions. However, this is a more common reason.

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Information found at http://www.cwarn.org/tsunami/how-tsunami-occur

How are they hazardous?

These waves grow in height once they reach their shoreline. They can grow up to over 100 feet. Once they grow to this height, they will crash down on whatever land or civilizations are near. This can cause floods, drowning, and damage to the civilization's water quality.

Picture found at www.wired.co.uk

Information found at http://www.ready.gov/tsunamis

Where they occur

Tsunamis will occur mostly along the coastline of the Pacific and possibly Atlantic oceans. There have been destructive tsunamis in areas around Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, California, etc. Areas are more at risk of tsunamis if they are less than 15 feet above sea level.

Picture found at www.tsunami-alarm-system.com

Information found at http://www.ready.gov/tsunamis

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How is it measured?

Many people measure the severity of a tsunami by the height of the tallest point of the wave. This shows how high the wave could reach above ocean level and how much land it could destroy.

Information found at http://tsunami.org/7science/10_faqs.html

Japan tsunami

On March 11, 2011, a major tsunami occurred in Japan. Although people knew to run to higher ground, 2800 people ended up dead or missing. The wave tore apart the town, destroying everything except for the highest buildings.

Information found at: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/news/japan-tsunami-2011-vin

Alaska Tsunami

On March 27, 1964, another tsunami occurred in Alaska. This was the largest tsunami ever recorded in North America. It damaged many bridges and roads, costing around $80,000. $750,000 to $1 million was the estimated cost for damage in everything else.

Information found at http://www.usc.edu/dept/tsunamis/alaska/1964/webpages/

How to prepare

Make sure to be aware of what you should do when a tsunami occurs. Practice an evacuation plan and know to get to higher ground.
Have a radio available so that you can understand the severity of the tsunami and how to stay safe during it.
Always stay away from the beach and follow any evacuation protocols provided by authorities
Information found at http://www.ready.gov/tsunamis