THESIS: The tsunami is a dangerous natural disaster that should be analyzed and studied to prevent unnecessary deaths.
What is a Tsunami?
What effects do they cause
What causes Tsunami?
Why do tsunami occur?
Where do they occur?
How often do they occur
What damage do they cause?
The financial cost
The environmental cost
The human cost
Analyzing and researching
Detecting a tsunami
Learning from the past
Tsunami: Analyzing the tsunami to prevent future tragedy
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines tsunami as "a seismic sea wave or tidal wave that is caused by an earthquake that occurs less than 30 miles beneath the seafloor and has a magnitude greater than 6.5 on the Richter scale". ("Tsunami" Encyclopedia Britannica 1986 ed) These giant waves are generated when a large earthquake at sea causes the sea floor to shift and displace the large body of water above it. The effects are waves that travel outward toward distant shores at very high speeds. Once these waves come to shore they can destroy entire villages or town with one or more of these giant waves.
There have been many examples of the power and destruction the tsunami have caused in the past. Some examples of these are the 1960 tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii, the 1993 tsunami in Papua, New Guinea, and the 2004 Indonesia tsunami. In the 1960 tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii, an earthquake in Chile caused a wave that hit the shore and killed 159 people and caused major damage to the coastal town. In 1998 another earthquake caused a group of waves to hit Papua, New Guinea. The tsunami destroyed homes and killed about 2200 of its people. The worst and most destructive of these Tsunami was the December 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. This was a result of an undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean near the Island of Sumatra. The Tsunami caused damage to the coasts of 12 countries. The deaths as a result of the wave were over 294,000 (Alekseev, ICMMG 2005). The wave destroyed many coastal towns in these countries and injured many residents.
There have been many tsunamis that have occurred over the years in many different areas. The most recent and largest was the tsunami that hit Indonesia and many other countries in December of 2004. The tsunami that hit here killed almost 300000 people from many different countries and injured and left many others without homes. This was one of the largest tsunamis in the amount of deaths that it caused. Another recent tsunami occurred in Papua, New Guinea on July 17, 1998. This small fishing village was hit by a series of three large waves that killed a number of people. The wave destroyed the small village and changed the appearance of the island as well. Many people were killed by the debris that the wave caused and the broken tree trunks that were left by the first wave. Others were pulled out to sea by the returning current as the ocean leveled itself. In addition to the 1998 tsunami, there was also a tsunami that occurred in Hilo, Hawaii on May 23, 1960. An earthquake in Chile caused a series of eight waves that hit Hilo fifteen hours later. "The wave that the tsunami caused was about 35 feet high and killed 61 people and destroyed over five hundred homes in the coastal town" (NOAA). Most people that died here did so because they did not run away to higher ground but stayed to watch what was happening thinking it was not dangerous, as they had experienced a smaller tsunami in the past. There are many different effects of a tsunami depending on the size of the tsunami. The larger the size and strength of the waves the more destruction they cause. The ocean wide Tsunami is one that covers more countries and as a result usually causes more death and damages. While a smaller tsunami may be only hit a small area. The larger ocean wide tsunamis such as the one...
Bibliography: Elegant, Simon and Aceh Banda "Tsunami" Time Magazine January 10, 2005:
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