The most common cause of tsunamis is from undersea earthquakes on the ocean floor. Submarine landslides and volcanic eruptions also cause tsunamis. On very rare occasions, a meteorite impact in the ocean results in a tsunami. Any event that displaces a significant amount of water in a short period of time can cause a tsunami.Know More
Not all undersea earthquakes cause tsunamis. The quake must cause part of the crust to lift up like a gigantic paddle, displacing a large volume of water. If the quake happens deep in the crust or the crust is not displaced significantly, then a tsunami is not likely to occur. Strong, shallow quakes produce more tsunamis. Tsunamis are difficult to detect on the open ocean since the wave does not rise very far above the ocean's surface. As the tsunami approaches shallower water, the water piles up and causes a much taller wave.
Volcanic eruptions also cause tsunamis, such as the waves produced when the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa erupted in 1883. Superheated gas and rock from the volcano flowed into the sea, which displaced a huge volume of water and caused tsunamis. These waves were felt as far away as South Africa. Many villages were destroyed by these waves, and more than 36,000 people died.Learn more about Storms
Tornadoes form out of thunderstorms, where moist air rises, cools and condenses into clouds that release heat and force cooler air back down. If the updrafts are strong enough, the feedback loop forms an air vortex that continues to shunt more moist air upwards and eventually forms a tornado.Full Answer >
Typhoon Rammasun hit the Philippines on July 16, 2014. The typhoon killed at least 38 people in the Philippines and killed more than 100 people total. It caused more than $7 billion in total damages.Full Answer >
Tornadoes injure and kill people, destroy property, take a heavy financial toll, disrupt communication and create severe anxiety. The number of deaths due to tornadoes varies significantly from year to year. For example, according to NOAA, in 2008, 126 people died, but in the following year, only 21 lives were lost. Tornadoes killed 553 people in 2011, but just 70 in 2012.Full Answer >
Dust storms begin as winds lift small particles of dry, loose soil into the air. While larger particles often fall back to the ground quickly, smaller ones can stay aloft for days. These small particles often travel thousands of miles, including across continents and oceans.Full Answer >