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Weather and Climate

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A tsunami is large wave that is different to the usual waves that are created by wind over the ocean. Sometimes a tsunami is a series of waves. A tsunamis can travel as fast as 950 km per hour and grows in height as it reaches the shore.


This is a map of the tectonic plate boundaries, where earth movements that cause tsunamis usually occur

Tsunamis occur when there is underwater movement of the earth caused by natural events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and meteorites. Tsunamis most often happen in the Pacific Ocean around the 'Ring of Fire'.

This is a video of the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia

Tsunami is a Japanese word. 'Tsu' means harbour and 'Nami' means wave.

What to do if there is a tsunami:- Listen to orders from authorities- Move inland and to higher ground- Stay away from the beachAfter the tsunami:- Don't go back to hour house until authorities tell you to- Stay away from buildings with water around them as water can make floors crack or walls collapse

In deep water a tsunami can travel as fast as a passenger jet.

Top 5 most damaging Tsunamis in history:1. Sumatra, Indonesia - 26 December 2004. Caused by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake, killed around 230,000 people and caused US$10b of damage.2. North Pacific Coast, Japan - 11 March 2011. Killed more than 18,000 people. Caused by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.3. Lisbon, Portugal - 1 November 1755. 8.5 magnitude earthquake, waves reached up to 30m and killed 60,000 people.4. Krakatau, Indonesia - 27 August 1883. Tsunami linked to the explosion of Krakatau volcano. Killed 40,000 people.5. Enshunada Sea, Japan - 20 September 1498. Caused by a 8.3 magnitude earthquake. Killed 31,000 people.


Tsunamis can cause huge amounts of damage to the coastal areas that they hit. Cars and buildings can be washed away by water and people often drown from being trapped or are killed when they are swept up in the water.

Sometimes people refer to tsunamis as 'tidal waves' but tsunamis have nothing to do with tides

Japanese Tsunami in 2011. It was caused by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and killed 18,000 people.


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