by grace ashford

What is a tsunami?

Tsunamis are huge waves of water that have been known to reach up to 30 metres. As a tsunami approaches the shore water may be pulled back as much as 100 metres. When tsunamis hit the shallow water they slow down but increase in size.

What causes tsunamis?

Tsunamis occur when movement happens in the water for example earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, meteorites and glaciers breaking off.

Does Australia get tsunamis?

Australia has never had any major damaging tsunamis. However, in the past 130 years Australia has experienced 145 tsunamis resulting in 11 deaths. 85% of these have been along the eastern coast.

The largest tsunami to hit Australia occurred in Western Australia in 1977. This tsunami was 6m in height, but no one was killed.

The second-largest tsunami also hit Western Australia in 1994. Fish and other ocean creatures were carried inland for 300 metres. That’s the same distance as from our school to Cappello’s Pizzeria. While no one died in Australia, this same tsunami killed 200 people just four hours earlier in Java.

When and where do tsunamis happen?

Tsunamis can occur at any time of the year in all weather conditions and seasons. Tsunamis caused by earthquakes have to be more than 6.5 on the Richter scale. Four out of five tsunamis occur in the Ring of Fire which is in the Pacific Ocean. Some of the countries that get affected by tsunamis and are in the Ring of Fire are Japan, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, United States and Antartica.

What should you do if there is a tsunami?

When there is a tsunami you always move inland or travel to high ground. If you can you should move at least one kilometre away from the shore and all beaches. You can also stay up in an apartment where there is height. Alot of people just stand at the wave because they have never seen a tsunami before but that is not the brightest idea because there is a good chance that the wave will hit you and possibly kill you.
Tsunamis are a huge threat to everyone in the Ring of Fire and many other places in the world but luckily Australia is not prone to get a Tsunami any time soon.