The effects of a tsunami include loss of human and animal life, devastating property damage, severe flooding and disease. There are also environmental effects such as contamination of soil and water, a permanent change to the landscape, solid waste and disaster debris, and hazardous materials and toxic substances.Know More
Tsunamis are giant waves caused by undersea earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions. The severity of their effects depends on a number of factors, namely the magnitude of the earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption, along with its distance from shore. Small and undetectable tsunamis occur almost every day with little to no effect, but larger tsunamis have devastating effects to life and land that are often irreversible.
The central effect of large tsunamis is massive loss of human life. With no time to escape, tsunamis cause near instant death, usually by drowning, but also by collapsing buildings, electrocution and more. Since 1850, tsunamis have killed more than 430,000 people. The March 2011 tsunami in Japan left a total of 18,550 people killed and/or missing.
The severe flooding that occurs as a result of a tsunami also damages sewer systems, water supplies and soil. Stagnant and contaminated water leads to malaria and other diseases, causing illness, infection and death to spread rapidly. Soil becomes salinized from sea water and debris, effecting long-term yields of crops.
The tall and fast-moving waves also damage property and permanently alter the landscape, sometimes wiping out entire islands. They destroy everything in their path, including buildings, trees, power lines, bridges, cars, boats and more, leaving behind them a mass of solid waste and debris that is almost impossible to clean up. They also destroy animal life, insects, plants and natural resources. Hazardous materials and toxic substances are also a concern, as asbestos, oil fuel and other industrial raw materials and chemicals often leak as a result of property damage.Learn more about Tsunamis
After the initial wave hits land, a large wall of water follows closely behind it. The water slams into the land, then immediately begins to recede, taking many objects on land with it.Full Answer >
With wave speeds that can reach as much as 435 miles per hour, a tsunami can travel as far inland as 10 miles, depending on the slope and the shape of the shoreline that it is traveling across. Ships traveling in the deep ocean may pass over a tsunami and not even notice it because a tsunami can cause the waves to be as little as 2 feet high where the water is very deep.Full Answer >
When a tsunami occurs, it's typically in response to an earthquake, and oceanic waves grow to large proportions, increasing their rate of causing damage. Other natural earth forces can cause tsunamis as well, including meteorites, landslides, explosions and a volcano erupting, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology or BOM.Full Answer >
Tsunamis are formed by violent underwater earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and, rarely, meteor impacts. These events cause sudden and drastic displacement of water, forming massive waves in the process.Full Answer >