Tsunamis

A geohazard to be reckoned with.

What is a tsunami?

A tsunami is a gigantic wave caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption. These fast and humongous waves can be incredibly deadly.

How is this a hazard?

Tsunamis are a hazard because of many reasons. In addition to the giant waves that can drown entire cities, the survivors have to face flooding and contaminated water.

What regions are most vulnerable to tsunamis?

How is destruction measured?

Tsunamis are measured in two ways.

Tsunamis are first measured by the magnitude of the earthquake that causes them, and then runup, which is normal sea level compared to how much water washes up onto the shore.

Famous Tsunamis

  • Sumatra, Indonesia, 2004
A 9.1 earthquake off the coast of indonesia in 2004 triggered one of the most destructive tsunamis in history. The wave height was 50 meters, and it displaced the sea floor by several meters. It killed 230,000 people.

  • North Pacific Coast, Japan, 2011
Spawned by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the Japan tsunami claimed 18,000 lives. Waves were 10 meters high at 800 kilometers per hour. It was estimated it would take Japan five years to overcome the cost of damages.

How do you prepare for a tsunami?

  • Plan an evacuation route
  • have a disaster kit
If you feel a coastal earthquake:

  • If the waves recede, do NOT investigate; stay away from the water
  • Get as far inland as possible
If a tsunami does happen:

  • Get to high ground
  • stay out of buildings