3. Are there other causes of tsunamis?
Yes. A tsunami may also be generated if a volcano erupts under shallowwaters. The force of the eruption will push the water above it, creatingtsunami waves. Big landslides that take place underwater or by the coast canalso form tsunamis. A large meteorite falling from outer space may alsoproduce tsunamis, but this is rare.
4. How big are tsunami waves?
The size of tsunami waves depends on the depth of the water. Out inthe deep sea, they are rather low, usually less than a meter high. This meansthey look like ordinary waves and they usually pass unnoticed by people onships. But when tsunamis reach shallower waters, they may rise up to 30meters, roughly the height of a 10-story building.
5. How fast are tsunami waves?
In the deep sea, the waves may be as fast as a jet plane, travelling 900km in an hour. But when the waves reach the shallow waters near land, theyslow down. For example, at a water depth of 15 meters, the speed would beabout 45 km/hr. But a wave moving at that speed would still be too fast torun away from.
6. What happens when tsunamis encounter land?
Each wave slows down and grows into a towering wall of water. The wavepushes forward with the weight of the ocean behind it. Houses and buildingscollapse, roads are washed away, people and animals are snatched out to sea,and everything not strongly anchored to the ground are swept away. Inaddition, the flood waters uproot trees, bust water pipes, and contaminatewater wells.