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A Natural Disaster is the Consequence of a Natural Hazard

A Natural Disaster is the Consequence of a Natural Hazard

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In India, we have various kinds of natural disasters take place. The followings are the common natural disasters, which occur very often at different parts of the country. Droughts Drought is perhaps the manifestation of desertification, which may be because of unprecedented soil erosion, large scale deforestation and abrupt change in micro-climate thereby increasing the temperature and reducing rainfall etc., ultimately leads to fall of groundwater level and hence, loss o f agricultural productivity of the land, due to lack of water resources. Since, Indian Agriculture is mostly rain-fed, the occurrences of Droughts are common at the different parts of the country. Floods When it rains heavily in the catchments of rivers an d there is no dam, especially during monsoon, the rivers flood. Like drought, occurrence of flood is also quite common in the various parts of the country. Earthquakes The geological strata of the country belong to Gondwana land -mass; which is comparatively new, younger and unstable geological formation. There are still many parts of the country under earthquakes -prone-regions. If history would be referred, there are many severe earthquakes had shacked the backbone of the country; the recent one is being the earthquake of Bhuj at the state of Gujarat. The great Himalayan Mountain range, which belong to comparatively the younger geological formations, which is still undergoing morphological changes, the construction of Tehri Dam, therefore, is a great -threat to the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. Cyclone Due to low pressure in the atmosphere and frequent formation of whirls; cyclones take place frequently at the eastern coast of India. In the Bay of Bengal of Indian Ocean, these Low - pressure Whirls are formed and gets transmitted to the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The recent super -cyclone at Orissa in October, 1999 took away the life of more than 25,000 people, destroyed the properties of more than thousands billion dollars and more t han a million of people rendered jobless. Their livelihood security of the common mass was also got severely threatened. Hot waves In recent days, India has got highly affected by a new form of natural calamities i.e flowing of hot waves again in the east coast, killing the thousands of people in the Northen and Eartern parts of the country like, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. The flow of hot waves is also known as Sun -stroke, which in fact, is common in our country. In Orissa, alone about 151 people died of Sun -stock in 1999. The worst sufferers are physically weaker persons, Old men and women and the children. Cold Waves The incidents of death due to cold waves occurs in higher and lesser

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Himalayas especially in the States of Uttranchal, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Northen Parts of West Bengal including Darjiling. In addition, there are also other natural calamities such as Tornado, Spiral tide Whirls etc, which occur very often in our country.
A natural disaster is the consequence of a natural hazard (e.g. volcanic eruption, earthquake, or landslide) which affects human activities. Human vulnerability, exacerbated by the lack of planning or appropriate emergency management, leads to financial, environmental or human losses. The resulting loss depends on the capacity of the population to support or resist the disaster, their resilience.[1] This understanding is concentrated in the formulation: "disasters occur when hazards meet vulnerability".[2] A natural hazard will hence never result in a natural disaster in areas without vulnerability, e.g. strong earthquakes in uninhabited areas. The term natural has consequently been disputed because the events simply are not hazards or disasters without human involvement.

An earthquake (also known as a tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of
energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are recorded with a seismometer, also known as a seismograph. The moment magnitude of an earthquake is conventionally reported, or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground. When a large earthquake epicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami. The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity. In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event whether a natural phenomenon or an event caused by humans that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. The term epicenter refers to the point at ground level directly above this.

Naturally occurring earthquakes
Fault typesTectonic earthquakes will occur anywhere within the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane. In the case of transform or convergent type plate boundaries, which form the largest fault surfaces on earth, they will move past each other smoothly and aseismically only if there are no irregularities or asperities along the boundary that increase the frictional resistance. Most boundaries do have such asperities and this leads to a form of stick-slip behaviour. Once the boundary has locked, continued relative motion between the plates leads to increasing stress and therefore, stored strain energy in the volume around the fault surface. This continues until the stress has risen sufficiently to break through the asperity, suddenly allowing sliding over the locked portion of the fault, releasing the stored energy. This energy is released as a combination of radiated elastic strain seismic waves, frictional heating of

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the fault surface, and cracking of the rock, thus causing an earthquake. This process of gradual build up of strain and stress punctuated by occasional sudden earthquake failure is referred to as the Elastic-rebound theory. It is estimated that only 10 percent or less of an earthquake's total energy is radiated as seismic energy. Most of the earthquake's energy is used to power the earthquake fracture growth or is converted into heat generated by friction. Therefore, earthquakes lower the Earth's available elastic potential energy and raise its temperature, though these changes are negligible compared to the conductive and convective flow of heat out from the Earth's deep interior.[1]

[edit] Earthquake fault types
Main article: Fault (geology) There are three main types of fault that may cause an earthquake: normal, reverse (thrust) and strike-slip. Normal and reverse faulting are examples of dip-slip, where the displacement along the fault is in the direction of dip and movement on them involves a vertical component. Normal faults occur mainly in areas where the crust is being extended such as a divergent boundary. Reverse faults occur in areas where the crust is being shortened such as at a convergent boundary. Strike -slip faults are steep structures where the two sides of the fault slip horizontally past each other ; transform boundaries are a particular type of strike-slip fault. Many earthquakes are caused by movement on faults that have components of both dip-slip and strike-slip; this is known as oblique slip.

Earthquakes away from plate boundaries
Where plate boundaries occur within continental lithosphere, deformation is spread out a over a much larger area than the plate boundary itself. In the case of the San Andreas fault continental transform, many earthquakes occur away from the plate boundary and are related to strains developed within the broader zone of deformation caused by major irregularities in the fault trace (e.g. the Big bend region). The Northridge earthquake was associated with movement on a blind thrust within such a zone. Another example is the strongly oblique convergent plate boundary between the Arabian and Eurasian plates where it runs through the northwestern part of the Zagros mountains. The deformation associated with this plate boundary is partitioned into nearly pure thrust sense movements perpendicular to the boundary over a wide zone to the southwest and nearly pure strike-slip motion along the Main Recent Fault close to the actual plate boundary itself. This is demonstrated by earthquake focal mechanisms. [2] All tectonic plates have internal stress fields caused by their interactions with neighbouring plates and sedimentary loading or unloading (e.g. deglaciation). These stresses may be sufficient to cause failure along existing fault planes, giving rise to intraplate earthquakes.[3]

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Shallow-focus and deep-focus earthquakes
The majority of tectonic earthquakes originate at the ring of fire in depths not exceeding tens of kilometers. Earthquakes occurring at a depth of less than 70 km are classified as 'shallow-focus' earthquakes, while those with a focal-depth between 70 and 300 km are commonly termed 'midfocus' or 'intermediate-depth' earthquakes. In subduction zones, where older and colder oceanic crust descends beneath another tectonic plate, deep-focus earthquakes may occur at much greater depths (ranging from 300 up to 700 kilometers).[4] These seismically active areas of subduction are known as Wadati-Benioff zones. Deep-focus earthquakes occur at a depth at which the subducted lithosphere should no longer be brittle, due to the high temperature and pressure. A possible mechanism for the generation of deep-focus earthquakes is faulting caused by olivine undergoing a phase transition into a spinel structure.[5]

Earthquakes and volcanic activity
Earthquakes also often occur in volcanic regions and are caused there, both by tectonic faults and by the movement of magma in volcanoes. Such earthquakes can serve as an early warning of volcanic eruptions, like during the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980.[6]

Earthquake clusters
Most earthquakes form part of a sequence, related to each other in terms of location and time.[7]

Aftershocks
Main article: Aftershock An aftershock is an earthquake that occurs after a previous earthquake, themainshock. An aftershock is in the same region of the main shock but always of a smaller magnitude. If an aftershock is larger than the main shock, the aftershock is redesignated as the main shock and the original main shock is redesignated as a foreshock. Aftershocks are formed as the crust around the displaced fault plane adjusts to the effects of the main shock.[7]

Earthquake swarms
February 2008 earthquake swarm near MexicaliMain article: Earthquake swarm Earthquake swarms are sequences of earthquakes striking in a specific area within a short period of time. They are different from earthquakes followed by a series of aftershocks by the fact that no single earthquake in the sequence is obviously the main shock, therefore none have notable higher

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magnitudes than the other. An example of an earthquake swarm is the 2004 activity at Yellowstone National Park.[8]

Earthquake storms
Main article: Earthquake storm Sometimes a series of earthquakes occur in a sort of earthquake storm, where the earthquakes strike a fault in clusters, each triggered by the shaking or stress redistribution of the previous earthquakes. Similar to aftershocks but on adjacent segments of fault, these storms occur over the course of years, and with some of the later earthquakes as damaging as the early ones. Such a pattern was observed in the sequence of about a dozen earthquakes that struck the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey in the 20th century and has been inferred for older anomalous clusters of large earthquakes in the Middle East.[9][10]

Size and frequency of occurrence
Minor earthquakes occur nearly constantly around the world in places like California and Alaska in the U.S., as well as in Guatemala. Chile, Peru, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, the Azores in Portugal, Turkey, New Zealand, Greece, Italy, and Japan, but earthquakes can occur almost anywhere, including New York City, London, and Australia.[11] Larger earthquakes occur less frequently, the relationship being exponential; for example, roughly ten times as many earthquakes larger than magnitude 4 occur in a particular time period than earthquakes larger than magnitude 5. In the (low seismicity) United Kingdom, for example, it has been calculated that the average recurrences are: an earthquake of 3.7 - 4.6 every year, an earthquake of 4.7 - 5.5 every 10 years, and an earthquake of 5.6 or larger every 100 years. [12] This is an example of the Gutenberg-Richter law. The number of seismic stations has increased from about 350 in 1931 to many thousands today. As a result, many more earthquakes are reported than in the past, but this is because of the vast improvement in instrumentation, rather than an increase in the number of earthquakes. The USGS estimates that, since 1900, there have been an average of 18 major earthquakes ( agnitude 7.0-7.9) m and one great earthquake (magnitude 8.0 or greater) per year, and that this average has been relatively stable.[13] In recent years, the number of major earthquakes per year has decreased, although this is thought likely to be a statistical fluctuation rather than a systematic trend. More detailed statistics on the size and frequency of earthquakes is available from the USGS.[14]

Most of the world's earthquakes (90%, and 81% of the largest) take place in the 40,000-km-long, horseshoe-shaped zone called the circum-Pacific seismic belt, also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, which for the most part bounds the Pacific Plate.[15][16] Massive earthquakes tend to occur along other plate boundaries, too, such as along the Himalayan Mountains. Humans can cause

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earthquakes for example by constructing large dams and buildings, drilling and injecting liquid into wells, and by coal mining and oil drilling.[17] With the rapid growth of mega-cities such as Mexico City, Tokyo or Tehran, in areas of high seismic risk, some seismologists are warning that a single quake may claim the lives of up to 3 million people.[18][19]

Effects/impacts of earthquakes
1755 copper engraving depicting Lisbon in ruins and in flames after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. A tsunami overwhelms the ships in the harbor.There are many effects of earthquakes including, but not limited to the following:

Shaking and ground rupture
Shaking and ground rupture are the main effects created by earthquakes, principally resulting in more or less severe damage to buildings or other rigid structures. The severity of the local effects depends on the complex combination of the earthquake magnitude, the distance from epicenter, and the local geological and geomorphological conditions, which may amplify or reduce wave propagation.[20] The ground-shaking is measured by ground acceleration. Specific local geological, geomorphological, and geostructural features can induce high levels of shaking on the ground surface even from low-intensity earthquakes. This effect is called site or local amplification. It is principally due to the transfer of the seismic motion from hard deep soils to soft superficial soils and to effects of seismic energy focalization owing to typical geometrical setting of the deposits. Ground rupture is a visible breaking and displacement of the earth's surface along the trace of the fault, which may be of the order of several metres in the case of major earthquakes. Ground rupture is a major risk for large engineering structures such as dams, bridges and nuclear power stations and requires careful mapping of existing faults to identify any likely to break the ground surface within the life of the structure.[21]

Landslides and avalanches
Main article: Landslide Landslides are a major geologic hazard because they can happen at any place in the world, much like earthquakes. Severe storms, earthquakes, volcanic activity, coastal wave attack, and wildfires can all produce slope instability. Landslide danger may be possible even though emergency personnel are attempting rescue.[22]

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Fires
Fires of the 1906 San Francisco earthquakeFollowing an earthquake, fires can be generated by break of the electrical power or gas lines. In the event of water mains rupturing and a loss of pressure, it may also become difficult to stop the spread of a fire once it has started. For example, the deaths in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were caused more by the fires than by the earthquake itself.[23]

Soil liquefaction
Soil liquefaction occurs when, because of the shaking, water-saturated granular material (such as sand) temporarily loses its strength and transforms from a solid to a liquid. Soil liquefaction may cause rigid structures, as buildings or bridges, to tilt or sink into the liquefied deposits. This can be a devastating effect of earthquakes. For example, in the 1964 Alaska earthquake, many buildings were sunk into the ground by soil liquefaction, eventually collapsing upon themselves.[24]

Tsunami
The tsunami of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquakeMain article: Tsunami Tsunamis are long-wavelength, long-period sea waves produced by an sudden or abrupt movement of large volumes of water. In the open ocean, the distance between wave crests can surpass 100 kilometers, and the wave periods can vary from five minutes to one hour. Such tsunamis travel 600800 kilometers per hour, depending on water depth. Large waves produced by an earthquake or a submarine landslide can overrun nearby coastal areas in a matter of minutes. Tsunamis can also travel thousands of kilometers across open ocean and wreak destruction on far shores hours after the earthquake that generated them.[25] Ordinarily, subduction earthquakes under magnitude 7.5 on the richter scale do not cause tsunamis. However, there have been recorded instances, yet most destructive tsunamis are caused by magnitude 7.5 plus earthquakes.[25] Tsunamis are distinct from tidal waves, because in a tsunami, water flows straight instead of in a circle like the typical wave. Earthquake-triggered landslides into the sea can also cause tsunamis.[26]

Floods
Main article: Flood

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A flood is an overflow of any amount of water that reaches land.[27] Floods usually occur because of the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, exceeds the total capacity of the formation, and as a result some of the water flows or sits outside of the normal perimeter of the body. However, floods may be secondary effects of earthquakes, if dams are damaged. Earthquakes may cause landslips to dam rivers, which then collapse and cause floods.[28] The terrain below the Sarez Lake in Tajikistan is in danger of catastrophic flood if the landslide dam formed by the earthquake, known as the Usoi Dam, were to fail during a future earthquake. Impact projections suggest the flood could affect roughly 5 million people.[29]

Human impacts
Earthquakes may result in disease, lack of basic necessities, loss of life, higher insurance premiums, general property damage, road and bridge damage, and collapse of buildings or destabilization of the base of buildings which may lead to collapse in future earthquakes. Earthquakes can also lead to volcanic eruptions, which cause further damages such as substantial crop damage, like in the "Year Without a Summer" (1816).[30] Most of civilization agrees that human death is the most significant human impact of earthquakes.[31]

Preparation for earthquakes
Today, there are ways to protect and prepare possible sites of earthquakes from severe damage, through the following processes: Earthquake engineering, Earthquake preparedness, Household seismic safety, Seismic retrofit (including special fasteners, materials, and techniques), Seismic hazard, Mitigation of seismic motion, and Earthquake prediction.

Earthquakes in culture
[edit] Mythology and religion In Norse mythology, earthquakes were explained as the violent struggling of the god Loki. When Loki, god of mischief and strife, murdered Baldr, god of beauty and light, he was punished by being bound in a cave with a poisonous serpent placed above his head dripping venom. Loki's wife Sigyn stood by him with a bowl to catch the poison, but whenever she had to empty the bowl the poison would drip on Loki's face, forcing him to jerk his head away and thrash against his bonds, causing the earth to tremble.[32]

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In Gree my y Pose on was the god of and cause earthquakes When he was in a bad mood, he would strike the ground with a trident, causing this and other calamities He also used earthquakes to punish and inflict fear upon people as revenge [33]

A flood is an overflow of an e panse of water that submerges land, a deluge [1] In the sense
of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, e ceeding the total capacity of its bounds, with the result that some of the water flows or sits outside of the normal perimeter of the body It can also occur in rivers, when the strength of the river is so high it flows out of the river channel, particularly at bends or meanders The word comes from the Old English flod, a word common to Teutonic languages (compare German Flut, Dutch vloed from the same root as is seen in flow, float). The term "The Flood," capitalized, usually refers to the great Universal Deluge described in the Bible, in Genesis, and is treated at Deluge.

Riverine floods

Flooding of a creek due to heavy monsoonal rain and high tide inDarwin, Northern Territory, Australia
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Slow kinds: Runoff from sustained rainfall or rapid snow melt exceeding the capacity of a river's channel. Causes include heavy rains from monsoons, hurricanes and tropical depressions, foreign winds and warm rain affecting snow pack. Fast kinds: flash flood as a result of e.g. an intense thunderstorm.

Estuarine floods
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Commonly caused by a combination of sea tidal surges caused by storm -force winds.

Coastal floods

  

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Catastrophic loods
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Muddy floods
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A muddy fl d i generated by runoff on cropland.

Other
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Floods can occur if water accumulates across an impermeable surface (e.g. from rainfall) and cannot rapidly dissipate (i.e. gentle orientation or low evaporation). A series of storms moving over t e same area. Dam-building beavers can flood low-lying urban and rural areas, often causing significant damage.

Typical effects Primary effects
y y

Physical damage- Can range anywhere from bridges, cars, buildings, sewer systems, roadways, canals and any other type of structure. Casualties- People and livestock die due to drowning. It can also lead to epidemics and diseases.

Secondary effects
y y y y

Water supplies- Contamination of water. Clean drinking water becomes scarce. Diseases- Unhygienic conditions. Spread of water-borne diseases Crops and food supplies - Shortage of food crops can be caused due to loss of entire harvest.[2] Trees - Non-tolerant species can die from suffocation[3]

Tertiary/long-term effects
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Economic- Economic hardship, due to: temporary decline in tourism, rebuilding costs, food shortage leading to price increase etc.

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Flood defen es, planning, and

anage ent

Autumn Mediterranean flooding in Alicante Spain , 1997. In western countries, rivers prone to floods are often carefully managed. Defences such as levees, bunds, reservoirs, and weirs are used to prevent rivers from bursting their banks. Coastal flooding has been addressed in Europe with coastal defences, such as sea walls and beach nourishment. London is protected from flooding by a huge mechanical barrier across theRiver Thames, which is raised when the water level reaches a certain point see Thames Barrier . Venice has a similar arrangement, although it is already unable to cope with very high tides. The defenses of both London and Venice will be rendered inade uate if sea levels continue to rise. The largest and most elaborate flood defenses can be found in the Netherlands, where they are referred to as Delta Works with the Oosterschelde dam as its crowning achievement. These works were built in response to the North Sea flood of 1953 of the southwestern part of the Netherlands. The Dutch had already built one of the world's largest dams in the north of the country: the Afsluitdijk closing occurred in 1932 .

Flood blocking the road in Jerusalem
Currently the Saint Petersburg Flood Prevention Facility Complex is to be finished by 2008, in Russia, to protect Saint Petersburg from storm surges. It also has a main traffic function, as it completes a ring road around Saint Petersburg. Eleven dams extend for 25.4 kilometres and stand eight metres above water level.

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The New Orleans Metropolitan Area, 35% of which sits below sea level, is protected by hundreds of miles of levees and flood gates. This system failed catastrophically during Hurricane Katrina in the City Proper and in eastern sections of the Metro Area, resulting in the inundation of approximately 50% of the Metropolitan area, ranging from a few inches to twenty feet in coastal communities. In an act of successful flood prevention, the Federal Government of the United States offered to buy out flood-prone properties in the United States in order to prevent repeated disasters after the 1993 flood across the Midwest. Several communities accepted and the government, in partnership with the state, bought 25,000 properties which they converted into wetlands. These wetlands act as a sponge in storms and in 1995, when the floods returned, the government didn't have to expend resources in those areas.[4] In China, flood diversion areas are rural areas that are deliberately flooded in emergencies in order to protect cities [1]. (See Crossing the Lines) Many have proposed that loss of vegetation (deforestation) will lead to a risk increase. With natural forest cover the flood duration should decrease. Reducing the rate of deforestation should improve the incidents and severity of floods. [5]

Flood clean-up safety
Clean-up activities following floods often pose hazards to workers and volunteers involved in the effort. Potential dangers include electrical hazards, carbon monoxide exposure, musculoskeletal hazards, heat or cold stress, motor vehicle-related dangers, fire, drowning, and exposure to hazardous materials.[6] Because flooded disaster sites are unstable, clean-up workers might encounter sharp jagged debris, biological hazards in the flood water, exposed electrical lines, blood or other body fluids, and animal and human remains. In planning for and reacting to flood disasters, managers provide workers with hard hats, goggles, heavy work gloves, life jackets, and watertight boots with steel toes and insoles.[7]

Benefits of flooding
There are many disruptive effects of flooding on human settlements and economic activities. However, flooding can bring benefits, such as making soil more fertile and providing nutrients in which it is deficient. Periodic flooding was essential to the well-being of ancient communities along the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River, the Indus River, the Ganges and the Yellow River, among others. The viability for hydrological based renewable sources of energy is higher in flood prone regions.

Flood modelling

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While flood modelling is a fairly recent practice, attempts to understand and manage the mechanisms at work in floodplains have been made for at least six millennia.[8] The recent development in computational flood modelling has enabled engineers to step away from the tried and tested "hold or break" approach and its tendency to promote overly engineered structures. Various computational flood models have been developed in recent years either 1D models (flood levels measured in the channel) and 2D models (flood depth measured for the extent of the floodplain). HEC-RAS[9], the Hydraulic Engineering Centre model, is currently among the most popular if only because it is available for free. Other models such as TUFLOW[10] and Flowroute[11], combine 1D and 2D components to derive flood depth in the floodplain. So far the focus has been on mapping tidal and fluvial flood events but the 2007 flood events in the UK have shifted the emphasis onto the impact of surface water flooding. [12]

Deadliest floods
Death Toll 2,500,000± 3,700,000 [13] 900,000±2,000,000 500,000±700,000 E ent 1931 China floods Location China Date 1931 1887 1938

231,000

145,000 more than 100,000 100,000 100,000 50,000±80,000 60,000 40,000 36,000 30,000 28,700

1887 Yellow River (Huang China He) flood 1938 Yellow River (Huang China He) flood Banqiao Dam failure, result of Typhoon Nina. Approximately 86,000 China people died from flooding and another 145,000 died during subsequent disease. 1935 Yangtze river flood China St. Felix's Flood, storm surge Netherlands Hanoi and Red River Delta North Vietnam flood 1911 Yangtze river flood China St. Lucia's flood, storm surge Netherlands North Sea flood, storm surge Netherlands 1949 Eastern Guatemala Guatemala flood St. Marcellus flood, storm Netherlands surge 1954 Yangtze river flood China 1974 Bangladesh monsoon Bangladesh rain

1975

1935 1530 1971 1911 1287 1212 1949 1219 1954 1974

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St. Marcellus flood / Grote Mandrenke, storm tide 1999 Vargas mudslide All Saints' Flood, storm surge 1939 Tianjin flood Netherlands, Germany, Denmark Venezuela Netherlands

25,000±40,000 20,006 20,000 20,000 14,000 10,000±100,000 8,000±15,000 10,000 10,000 several thousands several thousands several thousands several thousands several thousands 6,200 5,000

1362 1999 1570 1939 1717 1421 1634 1954 1824 1164 1288 1334 1532 1703 1980 1941

4,892 4,800 3,838 3,814 3,800 3,656 3,500 3,084 3,076

China Netherlands, Christmas flood, storm surge Germany, Denmark St. Elizabeth flood, storm Netherlands, surge Belgium Germany, Burchardi flood Denmark Great Iran Flood Iran 1824 St. Petersburg flood Russia St. Juliana flood, storm surge Netherlands St. Agatha flood, storm surge Netherlands St. Clemens flood, storm Netherlands surge All Saints flood, storm surge Netherlands North Sea flood, storm surge Netherlands Sichuan, Hubei, Anhui flood China Cojup valley, Cordillera Blanca mountain range, Peru landslide by massive avalanche 1968 Rajasthan, Gujarat India monsoon rain 1951 Manchuria flood China 1998 Eastern India, India, Bangladesh monsoon rain Bangladesh 1989 Sichuan flood China 1978 Northern India India monsoon rain 1998 Yangtze river flood China 1948 Fuzhou flood China Nepal, India, 1993 South Asian monsoon Bangladesh, rain Pakistan 2004 Eastern India, India,

1968 1951 1998 1989 1978 1998 1948 1993 2004

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Bangladesh monsoon rain 1992 Afghanistan flood, mainly, Gulbahar, Kalotak, Shutul, Parwan, flash flood, mudslide 1950 Pakistan flood 1996 China flood, torrential floods, mud-rock flows 1953 Japan flood, mainly Kitakyushu, Kumamoto, Wakayama, Kizugawa, massive rain, flood, mudslide North Sea flood, storm surge 1988 Bangladesh monsoon rain Johnstown Flood Bangladesh Afghanistan Pakistan China 1992 1950 1996

3,000 2,910 2,775

2,566

Japan

1953

2,400 2,379 2,200 2,142 2,075 2,055

Netherlands Bangladesh

838 1988

United States 1889 (Pennsylvania) North Sea flood of 1953 Netherlands, 1953 United Kingdom storm surge 1981 Sichuan, Shanxi Flood China 1981 1987 Bangladesh monsoon Bangladesh 1987 rain India (Morvi, Gujarat) Peru Italy Pakistan, India 1979

2,000±5,000 some reports list as many as Morvi dam burst 12,000 dead Huascaran, Ranrahirca 2,000±4,000 landslide by massive avalanche Vajont Dam landslide and 1,909 flood 1992 Pakistan, Northern 1,834 India monsoon rain 1991 China flood, mainly, Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei, 1,723 torrential floods, mud-rock flows Fujian, Anhui, Zhejiang 1,624 flood 1,605±3,363 1,558 spring flooding

1962 1963 1992

China

1991

China

2005

Haiti, Dominican 2004 Republic St. Martin flood, storm surge Netherlands 1686

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1,532 1,503 2002 China flood, torrential floods, mud-rock flows Mumbai and the surrounding state Maharashtra, Kamataka, monsson rain 1995 China flood, mainly, Hunan, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Sichuan, Fujian, torrential rain, devastating floods, mud-rock flows 2007 China flood, mountain torrents, mud-rock flows 2006 Southern Leyte mudslide 2004 China flood, mountain torrents, mud-rock flows, landslide Santa Catarina, [2]Tubarão], torrential heavy rain Isahaya, massive rain and mudslide Inuyama Iruka pond failure 1938 Massive rain of Japan, mainly Tokyo, Kobe, massive rain and landslide Barcelona, flash flood 1977 Karachi flood 2006 North Korea flooding Algiers, Bab El Oued, devastating flood, mudslide North Sea flood, storm surge 2000 Mozambique flood 1967 Brazil flood, mainly Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, flood and landslide 2006 Ethiopia flood, mainly Omo River Delta, Dire Dawa, Tena, Gode, flash flood, heavyrain 1999 Vietnam flood, mainly occurred at Thua Thien Hue 1972 Seoul, Kyonggi flood China India 2002 2005

1,437

China

1995

1,348 1,144 1,029 1,000±1,500 992 941 933 915 848 844 827 800 800 785

China Philippines China Brazil Japan Japan Japan Spain Pakistan North Korea Algeria Netherlands Mozambique Brazil

2007 2006 2004 1974 1957 1868 1938 1962 1977 2006 2001 1825 2000 1967

705

Ethiopia

2006

702 672

Vietnam South Korea

1999 1972

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653 640 610 540 532 1972 Luzon flood Philippines 1987 Villatina landslide Colombia disaster 2007 North Korea flooding North Korea 1969 Tunisia flooding Tunisia Cuzco, Huallaga, torrential Peru rain, flooding, landslide 1967 Massive rain of Japan, mainly, Kobe, Kure, Agano Japan River, massive rain and landslide KwaZulu-Natal South Africa Malawi, flash flood and Malawi landslide Gauldal, landslide Norway Lisbon flash flood Portugal Western Japan, massive rain Japan and landslide 2002 Nepal flood, mainly occurred at Makwanpur, Nepal monssnal rain, flood, landslide 1999 Mexico flood, mainly occurred at Tabasco, Puebla, Mexico Chiapas, flood and mudslide Malpasset Dam failure France St. Aarons Flood Amsterdam 1969 South Korea flood, mainly, Gyeongsangbukdo, Gyeongsangnamdo, South Korea Gangwon, torrential rain, landslide 1993 Iran flood, mainly occurred at Isfahan, Bandar Iran Abass, flash flood and landslide 1998 South Korea flood, South Korea heavy massive rain, landslide 1955 Lebanon Tripoli flood Lebanon United States St. Francis Dam failure (California) Thailand, Malaysia, mainly, Thailand, 1972 1987 2007 1969 1982

517 506 500 500 464 445

1967 1987 1991 1345 1967 1972

429

2002

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1999 1959 1420

408

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1993

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1998 1955 1928 1988

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Nakhon, Songkhla, Kelantan, torrential rain Malaysia, United States (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West 1937 Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois) Brazil Peru 1966 1983

385

Ohio River flood of 1937

373 364 >360

1966 Rio de Janeiro flood, flood and landslide Piura, Tumbes, torrential rain, flooding, landslide Great Dayton Flood

353

2007 African Nations flood

347 345

342 315

313

300 300 299 290 272 270

1996 Yemen flood 1987 South Korea flood, mainly, Chungchongnamdo, South Korea Chollanamdo, Kangwon, torrential rain, landslide Kenya, Ethiopia, 2006 East African Flood Somalia North Sea flood of 1962 Germany storm tide 2003 Sumatra flood, mainly Jambi, Batanghari, Tondano, Indonesia torrential rain, flash flood, landslide Quebrada Blanca canyon, Colombia landslide Pampayacta avalanche Peru Nagasaki, massive rain and Japan landslide Rio de Janeiro and Brazil Fluminense flood 1973 Granada, Almeria, Spain Murcia flood Great Sheffield flood dam United Kingdom

United States 1913 mainly Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, 2007 Kenya, and many African country Yemen 1996 1987

2006 1962

2003

1974 1963 1982 1988 1973 1864

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disaster Val di Stava dam disaster Gormec, avalanche 1966 Maian flood 1998 Tajikistan flood Josefina dam failure Rapid City, South Dakota flood Marrakesh flash flood Chungar landslide, flood, avalanche Pamir Mountain area, mud and rock slides, torrential rain Huigra, landslide 2004 Brazil flood, mainly Sao Paulo, Pemambuco, torrential rain, mudslide Sarno flood and landslide KwaZulu-Natal Aberfan disaster Ozengeli, avalanche Izumo, massive rain and mudslide 1991 Antofagasta Flood, mud swept 2007 Central and East Java torrential monsson rain, landslide, flood Masuda, massive rain and landslide Verdal, landslide Seoul, Inchon, heavy rain northern Caucasas, northern Okrug, heavy rain, landslide 1981 Laingsburg flood Flood of the millennium Mameyes Disaster

268 261 259 255 250 238 230 200±600 200 190 165 159 154 144 135 128 120 119 117 116 114 110 104 98 94

Italy Turkey Jordan Tajikistan Ecuador United States Morocco Peru Tajikistan Ecuador Brazil Italy South Africa United Kingdom (Wales) Turkey Japan Chile Indonesia Japan Norway South Korea Russia South Africa Poland, Czech Republic Puerto Rico (Ponce)

1985 1992 1966 1998 1993 1972 1995 1971 1992 1931 2004 1998 1995 1966 1993 1964 1991 2007 1983 1893 1990 2002 1981 1997 1985

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over 90 81 80 78 73 72 70 70 47 37 19 19 16 11 Columbus, Ohio flood on United States March 25, 1913 Holmfirth Flood²Bilberry United Kingdom Reservoir dam failure Johnstown Flood²Failure of Laurel Run Dam and flash United States flooding Austin Dam failure United States Kagoshima, mudslide and Japan debris flow Gudbrandsdalen flood and Norway landslides 2005 levee failures in United States Greater New Orleans Frank Slide, Alberta Canada McDonald Dam failure United states Yuba City, California Christmas Eve flood, levee United States failure North Sea flood, storm surge Netherlands 1997 Threadbo landslide Australia Brisbane flood Australia 2007 United Kingdom floods United Kingdom 1913 1852 1977 1911 1993 1789 2005 1903 1900 1955 1916 1997 1974 2007

See also
y

Flood Risk Assessment

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tsunami (pronounced /(t)su

n

mi/) is a series of waves created when a body of water,

such as an ocean, is rapidly displaced. Earthquakes, mass movements above or below water, some volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides, underwater earthquakes, large asteroid impacts and detonation of nuclear weapons at sea all have the potential to generate a tsunami. Due to the immense volumes of water and energy involved, the effects of tsunami can be devastating. Since meteorites are small, they will not generate tsunami.

The Greek historian Thucydides was the first to relate tsunami to submarine quakes,[1] [2] but understanding of the nature of tsunami remained slim until the 20th century and is the subject of ongoing research.

Many early geological, geographic, oceanographic etc., texts refer to "Seismic sea waves" these are now referred to as "tsunami(s)".

Some meteorological storm conditions deep depressions causing cyclones, hurricanes can generate a storm surge which can be several metres above normal tide levels. This is due to the low atmospheric pressure within the centre of the depression. As these storm surges come ashore the surge can resemble a tsunami, inundating vast areas of land. These are not tsunami. Such a storm surge inundated Burma (Myanmar) in May 2008.

Terminology
The term tsunami comes from the Japanese meaning harbor ("tsu", ) and wave ("nami", ). [a. Jap. tsunami, tunami, f. tsu harbour + nami waves.²Oxford English Dictionary]. For the plural, one can either follow ordinary English practice and add an s, or use an invariable plural as in Japanese. Tsunami are common throughout Japanese history; approximately 195 events in Japan have been recorded. Tsunami are sometimes referred to as tidal waves, a term that has fallen out of favor, especially in the scientific community, in recent years because tsunami actually have nothing to do with tides. The once popular term derives from their most common appearance, which is that of an extraordinarily high incoming tide. Tsunami and tides both produce waves of water that move inland, but in the case of tsunami the inland movement of water is much greater and lasts for a longer period, giving the impression of an incredibly high tide. Although the meanings of "tidal" include "resembling"[3] or "having the form or character of"[4] the tides, and the term tsunami is no more accurate because tsumanis are not limited to harbours, use of the term tidal wave is discouraged by geologists and oceanographers.

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The only other language than Japanese that has a word for this disastrous wave is Tamil language[dubious ± discuss] and the word is "Aazhi Peralai". South Eastern coasts of India have experienced these waves some 700 years before and was a regular event by that time as per the stone carvings (scriptures in stone) read.

Causes
A tsunami can be generated when converging or destructive plate boundaries abruptly move and vertically displace the overlying water. It is very unlikely that they can form at divergent (constructive) or conservative plate boundaries. This is because constructive or conservative boundaries do not generally disturb the vertical displacement of the water column. Subduction zone related earthquakes generate the majority of all tsunamis. A tsunami has a much smaller amplitude (wave height) offshore, and a very long wavelength (often hundreds of kilometers long), which is why they generally pass unnoticed at sea, forming only a slight swell usually about 300 mm above the normal sea surface. A tsunami can occur at any state of the tide and even at low tide will still inundate coastal areas if the incoming waves surge high enough. On April 1, 1946 a Magnitude 7.8 (Richter Scale) earthquake occurred near the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. It generated a tsunami which inundated Hilo on the island of Hawai'i with a 14 m high surge. The area where the earthquake occurred is where the Pacific Ocean floor is subducting (or being pushed downwards) under Alaska. Examples of tsunami being generated at locations away from convergent boundaries include Storegga during the Neolithic era, Grand Banks 1929, Papua New Guinea 1998 (Tappin, 2001). In the case of the Grand Banks and Papua New Guinea tsunamis an earthquake caused sediments to become unstable and subsequently fail. These slumped and as they flowed down slope a tsunami was generated. These tsunami did not travel transoceanic distances. It is not known what caused the Storegga sediments to fail. It may have been due to overloading of the sediments causing them to become unstable and they then failed solely as a result of being overloaded. It is also possible that an earthquake caused the sediments to become unstable and then fail. Another theory is that a release of gas hydrates (methane etc.,) caused the slump. The "Great Chilean earthquake" (19:11 hrs UTC) May 22, 1960 (9.5 Mw), the March 27, 1964 "Good Friday earthquake" Alaska 1964 (9.2 Mw), and the "Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake" (00:58:53 UTC) December 26, 2004 (9.2 Mw), are recent examples of powerful megathrust earthquakes that generated a tsunami that was able to cross oceans. Smaller (4.2 Mw) earthquakes in Japan can trigger tsunami that can devastate nearby coasts within 15 minutes or less. In the 1950s it was hypothesised that larger tsunamis than had previously been believed possible may be caused by landslides, explosive volcanic action e.g., Santorini, Krakatau, and

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impact events when they contact water. These phenomena rapidly displace large volumes of water, as energy from falling debris or expansion is transferred to the water into which the debris falls at a rate faster than the ocean water can absorb it. They have been namedby the media as "mega-tsunami." Tsunami caused by these mechanisms, unlike the trans-oceanic tsunami caused by some earth uakes, may dissipate uickly and rarely affect coastlines di tant from the source due to s the small area of sea affected. These events can give rise to much larger localshock waves solitons , such as the landslide at the head of Lituya Bay 1958, which produced a wave with an initial surge estimated at 524 m. However, an extremely large gravitational landslide might generate a so called "mega-tsunami" that may have the ability to travel trans-oceanic distances. This though is strongly debated and there is no actual geological evidence to support this hypothesis.

Characteristics
While everyday wind waves have a wavelength from crest to crest of about 100 m 300 ft and a height of roughly 2 m 7 ft , a tsunami in the deep ocean has a wavelength of about 200 km 120 miles . This wave travels at well over 800 km/h 500 mph , but due to the enormous wavelength the wave oscillation at any given point takes 20 or 30 minutes to complete a cycle and has an amplitude of only about 1 m 3 ft . This makes tsunamis difficult to detect over deep water. Their passage usually goes unnoticed by ships. As the tsunami approaches the coast and the waters become shallow, the wave is compressed due to wave shoaling and its forward travel slows below 80 km/h 50 mph . Its wavelength diminishes to less than 20 km 12 miles and its amplitude grows enormously, producing a distinctly visible wave. Since the wave still has a wavelength on the order of several km a few miles , the tsunami may take minutes to ramp up to full height, with victims seeing a massive deluge of rising ocean rather than a cataclysmic wall of water. Open bays and coastlines adjacent to very deep water may shape the tsunami further into a step -like wave with a steep breaking front.

Signs of an approaching tsunami

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The monument to the victims of tsunami at Laupahoehoe, Hawaii.

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s

There is often no advance warning of an approaching tsunami.However, since earth uakes are often a cause of tsunami, any earth uake occurring near a body of water may generate a tsunami if it occurs at shallow depth, is of moderate or high magnitude, and the water volume and depth is sufficient. If the first part of a tsunami to reach land is a trough draw back rather than a crest of the wave, the water along the shoreline may recede dramatically, exposing areas that are normally always submerged. This can serve as an advance warning of the approaching tsunami which will rush in faster than it is possible to run. If a person is in a coastal area where the sea suddenly draws back many survivors report an accompanying sucking sound , their only real chance of survival is to run for high ground or seek the high floor of high rise s buildings. In the 2004 tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean drawback was not reported on the African coast or any other eastern coasts it inundated, when the tsunami approached from the east. This was because of the nature of the wave²it moved downwards on the eastern side of the fault line and upwards on the western side. It was the western pulse that inundated coastal areas of Africa and other western areas. About 80% of all tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean, but are possible wherever large bodies of water are found, including inland lakes. They may be caused by landslides, volcanic explosions, bolides and seismic activity. Indian Ocean Tsunami According to an article in " eographical" maga ine April 2008 , the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004 was not the worst that the region could expect. Professor Costas Synolakis of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California co-authored a paper in " eophysical Journal International" which suggests that a future tsunami in the Indian Ocean basin could affect locations such as Madagascar, Singapore, Somalia, Western Australia and many others. The Boxing Day tsunami killed over 300,000 people with many bodies either being lost to the sea or unidentified. Some unofficial estimates have claimed that approximately 1 million people may have died directly or indirectly solely as a result of the tsunami.

Warnings and prevention

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Tsunami ha ard sign at Bamfield, British Columbia.

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Tsunami wall at Tsu, Japan A tsunami cannot be prevented or precisely predicted ²even if the right magnitude of an earth uake occurs in the right location. Geologists, Oceanographers and Seismologist analyse each earth uake and based upon many factors may or may not issue a tsunami warning. However, there are some warning signs of an impending tsunami, and there are many systems being developed and in use to reduce the damage from tsunami. One of the most imporant t systems that is used and constantly monitored are bottom pressure sensors. These are anchored and attached to buoys. Sensors on the e uipment constantly monitor the pressure of the overlying water column²this can be deduced by the simple calculation o f:

where P = the overlying pressure in Newtons per metre s uare, = the density of the seawater= 1.1 x 103 kg/m3, g = the acceleration due to gravity= 9.8 m/s2 and h = the height of the water column in metres. Hence for a water column of 5,000 m depth the overlying pressure is e ual to

or about 5.7 Million tonnes per metre s uare. In instances where the leading edge of the tsunami wave is the trough, the sea will recede from the coast half of the wave's period before the wave's ar rival. If the slope of the coastal seabed is shallow, this recession can exceed many hundreds of meters. People unaware of the danger may remain at or near the shore out of curiosity, or for collecting fish from the exposed seabed. During the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26, 2004, the sea withdrew and many people then went onto the exposed sea bed to investigate. Pictures taken show

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people on the normally submerged areas with the advancing wave in the background. Most people who were on the beach were unable to escape to high ground and died.

Tsunami warning sign on seawall in Kamakura, Japan, 2004. In the Muromachi period, a tsunami struck Kamakura, destroying the wooden building that housed the colossal statue of Amida Buddha at Kotokuin. Since that time, the statue has been outdoors. Regions with a high risk of tsunami may use tsunami warning systems to detect tsunami and warn the general population before the wave reaches land. On the west coast of theUnited States, which is prone to Pacific Ocean tsunami, warning signs advise people of evacuation routes. The Pacific Tsunami Warning System is based in Honolulu. It monitors all sesimic activity that occurs anywhere within the Pacific. Based up the magni ude and other information a t tsunami warning may be issued. It is important to note that the subduction ones around the Pacific are seismically active, but not all earth uakes generate tsunami and for this reason computers are used as a tool to assist in analysing the risk of tsunami generation of each and every earth uake that occurs in the Pacific Ocean and the adjoining land masses. As a direct result of the Indian Ocean tsunami, a re-appraisal of the tsunami threat of all coastal areas is being undertaken by national governments and the United Nations Disaster Mitigation Committee. A tsunami warning system is currently being installed in the Indian Ocean. Computer models can predict tsunami arrival²observations have shown that predicted arrival times are usually within minutes of the predicted time. Bottom pressure sensors are able to relay information in real time and based upon the readings and other information about the seismic event that triggered it and the shape of the seafloor bathymetry and coastal land topography , it is possible to estimate the amplitude and therefore the surge height, of the approaching tsunami. All the countries that border the Pacific Ocean collaborate in the Tsunami Warning System and most regularly practice evacuation and other procedures to prepare people for the inevitable tsunami. In Japan such preparation is a mandatory re uirement of government, local authorities, emergency services and the population. Some oologists hypothesise that animals may have an ability to sense subsonicRayleigh waves from an earth uake or a tsunami. Some animals seem to have the ability to detect

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natural phenomena and if correct, careful observation and monitoring could possibly provide advance warning of earthquakes, tsunami etc. However, the evidence is controversial and has not been proven scientifically. There are some unsubstantiated claims that animals before the Lisbon quake were restless and moved away from low lying areas to higher ground. Yet many other animals in the same areas drowned. The phenomenon was also noted by media sources in Sri Lanka in the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[5][6] It is possible that certain animals (e.g., elephants) may have heard the sounds of the tsunami as it approached the coast. The elephants reaction was to move away from the approaching noise²inland. Some humans, on the other hand, went to the shore to investigate and many drowned as a result. It is not possible to prevent a tsunami. However, in some tsunami-prone countries some earthquake engineering measures have been taken to reduce the damage caused on shore. Japan has implemented an extensive programme of building tsunami walls of up to 4.5 m (13.5 ft) high in front of populated coastal areas. Other localities have built floodgates and channels to redirect the water from incoming tsunami. However, their effectiveness has been questioned, as tsunami often surge higher than the barriers. For instance, the Okushiri, Hokkaid tsunami which struck Okushiri Island of Hokkaid within two to five minutes of the earthquake on July 12, 1993 created waves as much as 30 m (100 ft) tall²as high as a 10story building. The port town of Aonae was completely surrounded by a tsunami wall, but the waves washed right over the wall and destroyed all the wood-framed structures in the area. The wall may have succeeded in slowing down and moderating the height of the tsunami, but it did not prevent major destruction and loss of life.[7] The effects of a tsunami may be mitigated by natural factors such as tree cover on the shoreline. Some locations in the path of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami escaped almost unscathed as a result of the tsunami's energy being absorbed by trees such as coconut palms and mangroves. In one striking example, the village of Naluvedapathy in India's Tamil Nadu region suffered minimal damage and few deaths as the wave broke up on a forest of 80,244 trees planted along the shoreline in 2002 in a bid to enter the Guinness Book of Records.[8] Environmentalists have suggested tree planting along stretches of seacoast which are prone to tsunami risks. It would take some years for the trees to grow to a useful size, but such plantations could offer a much cheaper and longer-lasting means of tsunami mitigation than the construction of artificial barriers.

Tsunami in history
Main article: Historic tsunami Historically speaking, tsunami are not rare, with at least 25 tsunami occurring in the last century. Of these, many were recorded in the Asia±Pacific region²particularly Japan. The Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 caused approximately 350,000 deaths and many more injuries. As early as 426 B.C. the Greek historian Thucydides inquired in his book History of the Peloponnesian War about the causes of tsunami, and argued correctly that it could only be

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explained as a consequence of ocean earthquakes.[1] He was thus the first in the history of natural science to correlate quakes and waves in terms of cause and effect:[2]
The cause, in my opinion, of this phenomenon must be sought in the earthquake. At the point where its shock has been the most violent the sea is driven back, and suddenly recoiling with redoubled force, causes the inundation. Without an earthquake I do not see how such an accident could happen.[9]

The Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (Res Gestae 26.10.15-19) describes the typical sequence of a tsunami including an incipient earthquake, the sudden retreat of the sea and a following gigantic wave on the occasion of the 365 A.D. tsunami devastating Alexandria.[10]
[11]

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