Q:

What kind of damage can a tsunami cause?

A:

Quick Answer

Tsunamis can cause tremendous destruction of property and loss of lives. They can completely destroy buildings and leave towns in a devastated state. Small tsunamis are non-destructive, and they happen frequently due to minor earthquakes; however, large tsunamis reach incredible heights, and they savagely attack coastlines.

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What kind of damage can a tsunami cause?
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Full Answer

The amount of water and energy brought by a tsunami causes destruction, especially when it hits populated areas. In addition to property damage and fatalities, tsunamis cause disease, environmental damage and psychological problems. Areas near the coast get flooded with sea water, and infrastructure, such as fresh water supplies and sewage, are damaged. This results in water contamination that can cause the spread of diseases, such as malaria. Tsunamis not only destroy lives, they also affect natural resources, animals, plants and landscapes. They kill land and sea animals, uproot trees and damage animal habitats. Waste gets mixed up with toxic substances and hazardous materials, contaminating soil and water. Moreover, victims of tsunami catastrophes often suffer traumas and psychological problems in the aftermath.

A small tsunami wave typically reaches only 30 centimeters high, but it can become a huge wave that reaches 30 meters high as it strikes the shore. The effects of a tsunami are further magnified when a lagoon, harbor or bay funnels the waves as the waves move inland. Tsunamis can rise to more than 100 feet.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What happens after a tsunami hits?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    When was the first tsunami?

    A:

    According to Eden, the first recorded tsunami occurred off the coast of Syria over 4,000 years ago. The Storegga Slides is a famous event that occurred in the prehistoric era that may have been caused by a tsunami.

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  • Q:

    What are the aftereffects of a tsunami?

    A:

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, the aftereffects for humans of a tsunami include lack of clean drinking water, loss of shelter and injury from remaining debris. Economically, areas affected by tsunamis struggle to amass funding to repair damaged structures. Those who survive tsunamis often suffer mentally and emotionally.

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  • Q:

    How can a tsunami be prevented?

    A:

    No known way to prevent a tsunami from occurring exists. Individuals can take steps to be prepared for a tsunami, and warning systems can help get people out of harm's way if an impending tsunami is predicted.

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