Tsunamis Facts

Tsunamis Facts
A tsunami occurs when a large volume of water is displaced, usually caused by an earthquake, volcano, or landslides, but they can also be caused by an underwater explosion, or from the impact of a meteorite. These disturbances can occur above or below water, causing extremely long waves, often resembling a tide that rises extremely fast. The large tsunamis can cause waves that reach over 100 feet in height and can travel at speeds of up to 500 miles per hour. The majority of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire. When they occur, they can be extremely deadly to the people living in the coastal regions.
Interesting Tsunamis Facts:
Approximately 80% of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire, where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.
A tsunami can reach speeds of 500 miles per hour, which is almost the speed of a jet airplane.
Because of their speed, a tsunami could cross the Pacific Ocean in only one day.
The long wave-length of a tsunami allows it to maintain its strength as it moves toward shore.
As a tsunami nears the shore, it slows down, but it gains more height and energy.
The top of a tsunami wave actually moves faster than the bottom. This is what causes them to rise so high.
Right before a tsunami hits shore, the coastal water is sucked away from the shore, which exposes the sea floor. This is a warning that the tsunami will hit within the next five minutes.
The first wave to hit shore is not usually the strongest wave. The waves that follow grow progressively larger and gain more strength.
In 426 BC, a Greek historian Thucydides wrote about tsunamis in his book History of the Peloponnesian War. He suggested that they were caused by earthquakes.
In the United States, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and California are the states most at risk for a tsunami because of their location in relation to the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire.
Hawaii has a tsunami approximately every year however only one every seven years causes much damage.
The largest tsunami in Hawaii's recorded history occurred in 1946, which killed 170 people.
In Japanese, tsunami means ‘harbor wave'. Japan has a long history of tsunamis.
The tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004 killed more than 230,000 people in 14 countries, from Thailand to Africa.
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami is estimated to have had the energy equivalent to 23,000 atomic bombs.
The 2011 tsunami caused by the Tohoku earthquake off the east coast of Japan killed more than 15,000 people. This tsunami also caused a few nuclear accidents.
Some people have referred to tsunamis as tidal waves but the reference has stopped being used because they have nothing to do with tides.
If a person is swept up in a tsunami, the best thing they can do is grab onto something that floats, not to try to swim.
Because of scientific research, it is now possible to determine the time when a tsunami will hit, based on the time of the tsunami-causing event (such as an earthquake), water-depth, and distance from one place to another.

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