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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Tsunamis

What is a Tsunami?

There are so many definitions of tsunamis but it is crucial to look at it from the perspective of the word “tsunami”. This is a Japanese word which means tsu-(harbor) and name (waves). From this word, we can conclude that tsunami is basically waves that are advancing towards the harbors or the shore lines. Tsunamis have very long wavelengths and their ripples can lead to a huge destruction in the shores. The huge waves are pushed towards the shore hence moving anything that is found within the shores.

On the other hand tsunamis are known to be a resultant force which is accrued as result of seismic forces within the core. Whenever there are earthquakes of different magnitudes, the tsunamis may occur.

What forms tsunamis and what are the origin?

The main origin o tsunamis are basically the earthquakes. This is so because the earthquake is a force which can displace water. Whenever there is an earthquake, the movement of the earth’s crust creates a disturbance, such disturbances leads to the displacement of water in the ocean. When a large wave emanating from the sea crushes into the land mass and leads to a destruction of large magnitude, then one qualifies to call such a wave a tsunami. The ever growing wave will advance towards the shore leading to the rise and fall of the sea level may push the water levels beyond the normal limits. This automatically becomes a tsunami.

How can we detect tsunamis?

Unfortunately, we are still highly dependent of the meteorological departments for feedback and information associated with tsunami. On the other hand, tsunamis can also be detected through a seismic monitoring station. In that case, given the fact that tsunamis are caused by seismic forces, then the only way to detect it is by checking whether there has a been a slight change in seismic forces in any part of the world. If there is a rise in seismic activities, we are able to tell and communicate the fact that tsunamis can be expected within a given period of time.

There are also traditional methods of detecting tsunamis. One of the crude ways of detecting tsunami is by observing the water levels. In some countries like Indonesia, the residents have been able to tell whether there will be a tsunami or not by just looking at a post they have marked with the aim of telling whether the water level is advancing towards a critical stage or not.

What are the modern forms of warning against tsunamis?

There are various warning systems which have been designed to warn local and people traveling to a coastal regions. The first warning is the shaking of the coastal regions. Whenever we experience a shock wave along the coastal regions, we need to evacuate from such a place and look for a secure place where the effect of tsunami may not be felt.
Secondly, tsunamis have been associated with a quick retreat of the sea waters and this retreat can pull the water back to the deep ocean sections. However, the retreating wave will return with a high speed meaning that it is not a normal wave. When this is the case, we can conclude that a tsunami is waiting to hit the coastal lands.

Thirdly, we can detect an approaching tsunami by listening to an abnormal roaring sound produced by the waves. Whenever there is such a huge roar, the best thing to do is find a higher ground. Those who were lucky to find a higher ground in Japan were lucky as the water levels could not consume them.

What am I expected to if am caught up by tsunami while in the middle of the ocean?

The best thing to do in such a scenario is basically holding on to your position. However, the tsunami waves might prove to be too strong for you to maintain your location. When this happens, all you need to do is control the boat and steer it away from other object that might collide with it.

What are the vulnerable areas that can be hit easily by tsunamis which come without warning?

Considering that it comes without warning, most of the vulnerable regions or continents includes Japan, Australia and even some of the Islands which have been isolated by the high seas. Small islands are more vulnerable and can be affected by the forces of tsunami because such Islands can be consumed by the huge waves. Tsunamis can clear everything in a small island in a matter of minutes.

What is the approximate speed of tsunamis?

According to the findings shared by most scientists, tsunamis can travel at a speed of 900 kilometers in just one hour as far as the deep seas are concerned.