A tsunami is a flooding massive wave caused by volcanic ejection, detonation, or by a powerful earthquake under the sea. The monster waves are fast-moving and can travel thousands of miles with a very long wavelength by drowning everything.
The term Tsunami means harbor wave comes from the Japanese. (Tsu) means harbor and (NAMI) means wave.
Tsunami often interchanged with the term tidal wave means high fast-moving waves mainly result from earthquakes. Tsunami and tides both produce waves of water that move internally, but in the case of a tsunami, the internal movement of water may be much greater, giving the impression of an incredibly high and forceful tide.
How Tsunami occurs?
- From the area where the tsunami originates, waves travel outward in all directions. Once the wave approaches the seaside, it builds in height.
- All tsunamis are potentially dangerous, even though they may not damage every seaside they strike. A tsunami can strike anywhere along most of the U.S. coastline.
- The most destructive tsunamis have occurred along the seaside of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, and Texas.
- Earthquake-induced movement of the ocean floor most often generates tsunamis. If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to the seaside, the first wave in a series could reach the beach in a few minutes, even before a warning is issued.
- Areas are at greater risk if they are less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the seaside.
- Drowning is the most common cause of death associated with a tsunami. Other hazards include flooding, contamination of drinking water, and fires from gas lines or ruptured tanks.
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami:
March 11, 2011, the Tohoku earthquake struck offshore of Japan. Residents of Tokyo received a minute of warning before the strong shaking hit the city. People in Japan also received texted alerts of the earthquake and tsunami warnings on their cell phones. The early warning system prevented many deaths from the earthquake.
Effects of Tsunami in Japan:
- Killed more than 230,000 people of Japan.
- More than 2,500 people are still reported missing.
- The massive surge destroyed three-story buildings where people had gathered for safety.
- More than 5,000 aftershocks hit Japan in the year after the earthquake, the largest a magnitude 7.9.
- Buildings destroyed, released thousands of tons of ozone-destroying chemicals and greenhouse gases into the air.
- Created over 300,000 refugees in the Tōhoku region of Japan, and resulted in shortages of food, water, shelter, medicine, and fuel for survivors.
List of Countries that are affected by Tsunami:
Indonesia, Sri-Lanka, and India suffered the highest number of casualties.
Effect on India
- 10,749 casualties were confirmed on 27 January 2008, most of them in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. There were 5,640 people missing.
Effect on Indonesia
- Indonesia’s Ministry of Health confirmed 131,028 deaths on June 18, 2005, mainly in the northern province Acehof the island of Sumatra. Some 37,000 people are missing.
Effect on the Maldives
- In the Maldives, 82 were killed and 26 reported missing and presumed dead.
Effect on Myanmar
- Independent media reports 90 people killed in Myanmar due to the tsunami. The official death toll is 61. Witnesses in Myanmar estimate up to 600 deaths.
Effect on Somalia
- Villages and coastal communities in Somalia, as far as 4,500 km (2,800 mi) from the epicenter of the earthquake, were swept away and destroyed by the huge waves. 176 people were confirmed dead, 136 were missing and more than 50,000 were displaced.
Effect on Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan authorities report 31,229 confirmed deaths, and 4,093 people missing. Other authorities are speaking from 38,940 combined dead and missing people. The south and east coasts were the worst hit. Nearly 2,000 of the dead were on the Queen of the Sea holiday train destroyed by the tsunami.
Effect on Thailand
- The Thai government reports 5,395 confirmed deaths, 8,457 injuries, and 2,817 missing on 20 June 2005. The damage was confined to the six southern provinces facing the Andaman Sea. The Thai government was keen to point out that the rest of the country was operating normally, and that even some resorts in the south had re-opened.
Prevention of Tsunami:
The best defense against any tsunami is an early warning that allows people to seek higher ground. The Pacific Tsunami Warning System, a coalition of 26 nations headquartered in Hawaii, maintains a web of seismic equipment and water level gauges to identify tsunamis at sea. Similar systems are proposed to protect coastal areas worldwide.