DEFINITION AND DESCRIPTION OF THE NATURAL DISASTER
A tsunami is a series of ocean waves that sends surges of water, sometimes reaching heights of over 100 feet (30.5 meters), onto land. These walls of water can cause widespread destruction when theycrash ashore.
These awe-inspiring waves are typically caused by large, undersea earthquakes at tectonic plateboundaries. When the ocean floor at a plate boundary rises or falls suddenly it displaces the waterabove it and launches the rolling waves that will become a tsunami. A tsunami’s trough, the low pointbeneath the wave’s crest, often reaches shore first. When it does, it produces a vacuum effect that suckscoastal water seaward and exposes harbor and sea floors. This retreating of sea water is an importantwarning sign of a tsunami, because the wave’s crest and its enormous volume of water typically hitshore five minutes or so later. Recognizing this phenomenon can save lives.
A tsunami is usually composed of a series of waves, called a wave train, so its destructive force may becompounded as successive waves reach shore
WHERE AND WHEN THE DISASTER IS MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR
Most tsunamis, about 80 percent, happen within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire,” a geologicallyactive area where tectonic shifts make volcanoes and earthquakes common. A tsunami can occur in anyocean. If there is an earthquake or a huge movement had taken the place, that increases the likelihoodof a Tsunami occurring. There are plates on the surface of the earth and there are some gaps betweentwo plates (usually they are placed under the sea). When these plates are moved vertically, a huge seawave will occur. This is the typical method for a tsunami. At the middle of the sea we can't have a greatexperience of tsunami but when it comes near the shore it will become greater.Tsunamis occur most often along countries which border the Pacific "Rim of Fire", or "Ring of Fire'.One end of this region of high sesmic and volcanic activity begins at New zealand, heading northwestto Indonesia (completely bypassing Australia) and then west to Papua New guinea and Indonesia,northeast along the Asian coastline, east to North America and then south along the western NorthAmerican coastline. Roughly horse-shoe shaped, the Ring of Fire extends about 40,000km long, andtsunamis can be generated anywhere along this rim.Tsunamis may also be caused by underwater landslides or volcanic eruptions. They may even belaunched, as they frequently were in Earth’s ancient past, by the impact of a large meteorite plunginginto an ocean.
Tsunamis race across the sea at up to 500 miles (805 kilometers) an hourabout as fast as a jetairplane. At that pace they can cross the entire expanse of the Pacific Ocean in less than a day. Andtheir long wavelengths mean they lose very little energy along the way.
In deep ocean, tsunami waves may appear only a foot or so high. But as they approach shoreline andenter shallower water they slow down and begin to grow in energy and height. The tops of the wavesmove faster than their bottoms do, which causes them to rise precipitously.Tsunamis are a frequent occurrence in Japan; approximately 195 events have been recorded.
Due tothe immense volumes of water and energy involved, tsunamis can devastate coastal regions.
HISTORICAL EXAMPLES OF DISASTER INCIDENTS/MOST RECENT INCIDENT
inquired in his book
about the causes of tsunami, and was the first to argue that ocean earthquakes must be the cause.