What is Tsunami?
What is a Tsunami? Tsunami (pronounced as sue-nahm-ee) is a form of huge waves which send water onto land. This natural phenomenon can cause great destruction and loss of life.
Tsunamis are often caused by underwater earthquake, volcanic eruptions and the impact of large meteorites on the water. It is most likely associated with tidal waves, but its waves are different. Tidal waves are brought by the wind and are literally small as compared to tsunami waves. Also, the impact of tsunami waves could be extremely dangerous when it reaches the land. Unlike tidal waves, it does not appear as breaking or curling waves.
Most tsunamis (about 90 percent) are formed along the Pacific OceanÆs Ring of Fire which considered as a geologically active area from which tectonic shifts are common. Oftentimes an earthquake that is about or over 6.75 magnitude on the Richter scale can launch a tsunami.
When a tsunami approaches the coast, it grows in height but will go a bit slower as it landfalls. It can grow up to hundred of meters tall and could be extremely strong. It moves faster and often last for several hours. It can travel at the speed of 970 kph in the open sea and can cross the entire ocean in no time.
Due to technological advancement, a tsunami is often detected before it hit the land. This can help in minimizing the destruction it may cause to mankind and the environment. Computerized equipment such as offshore bouys can measure the wave height and can provide estimates on its impact. Certain warning devices are also available in different parts of the world. However, tsunamis are barely visible in the deep sea, which makes it difficult to detect.
People often go to higher grounds as it is the best defense against tsunamis. But, recognizing a disaster before it occur can save lives.