A tsunami is a large ocean wave that is caused by sudden movement on the ocean floor. This sudden movement causes vertical displacement of the water. It could be caused by an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, and underwater landslide or the impact of the meteorites. The impact of a large meteorite could also cause a tsunami. Tsunamis travel across the ocean at great speeds and become large, deadly waves in the shallow water of a shoreline. A tsunami is sometimes loosely referred to as a tidal wave but that is not technically correct. Many people wrongly believe that a tsunamis are single waves. Actually, tsunamis are “wave trains” consisting of multiple waves. The word ‘tsunami’ comes from the Japanese language and may be literally translated as “harbour wave”#. This is misleading because it does not originate in the harbour, but instead on the ocean floor. Tsunamis can destroy or reshape coastlines, causing devastating property damage, injuries, and loss of life due to injuries or drowning.
Tsunamis are very different from typical surf swells. They are created by a violent movement on the ocean floor and travel at high speeds. Furthermore, they can travel great transoceanic distances with little energy loss. A tsunami can cause damage thousands of kilometres from its origin, so there may be several hours between its creation and its impact on the coast.
Many cities around the Pacific, notably in Japan but also in Hawaii, have warning systems and evacuation procedures in the event of a serious tsunami, Tsunamis are predicted by various seismologic institutes around the world and their progress is monitored by satellites. Tsunami prediction remains an imperfect science. Although the epicentre of a large underwater earthquake and the probable tsunami arrival times can be quickly calculated, it is almost always impossible to know whether massive underwater ground shifts have occurred, resulting in tsunami waves. As a result, false alarms are...