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What Causes A Tsunami Essay

996 words - 4 pages

At the close of the year 2004, at 7 a.m. on Dec.26, a megathrust quake 160 miles off the Sumatra coast sent 500-mph tsunamis out into the Indian Ocean. The waves hit the Sumatra province of Acch 15 minutes later, and in less than 7 hours it reached Africa, 3000 miles away. Little did Asia know that they were about to be hit by one of the worst Tsunami's to hit land in recorded history. A Tsunami, meaning wave in the harbor in Japanese, is a series of waves produced by one of 4 things: an earthquake, a landslide, a asteroid/meteor or a volcanic eruption. Most Tsunami's go undetected because they are only inched high. Others, like the one that was recently produced in the Indian Ocean, reached ...view middle of the document...

Two giant tectonic plates, which have been pushing against each other for thousands of years, finally shift. The left plate has been sliding under the right a few centimeters per year, until the top plate sprung up, lifting 60 feet along a 1000 mile range and displacing millions of tons of water. The huge mass of water surged to the surface spreading outward in waves. The Tsunami moved about 500 mph. The wave slowed down as it reached shallow waters, and concentrated its energy into smaller and more destructive ways. Advancing water can rise 100 feet and flood areas more than 1000 feet from shore before forming a dangerous receding current. Tsunamis can be generated when the sea floor shifts in an abrupt way and vertically displaces the overlaying water from its equilibrium position. Waves are formed as the water tries to regain equilibrium. The main factor, which determines the initial size of a tsunami, is the amount of vertical sea floor deformation.The Indian Ocean has more probabilities of a Tsunami than the Pacific Ocean, but of the 11 countries affected, only and Indonesia had an Early Warning System in place. Thousands of lives could've been saved, if this system was in place. Samith Dhamasarof, Director of Meteorology Division in Thailand, was criticized and even forbidden from entering exclusive tourist areas, for being damaging to tourism, by creating an awareness of the danger of these waves.Though the incident could not have been prevented some basic attentiveness and proper public education, predominantly of the children's demise, conceivably could have been condensed. Methodically there have been thrashed for their failure to alert coastal regions of the impending danger. The world's biggest earthquake in 40...

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