Damage from a 1964 tsunami in Alaska
Click on image for full size
Ten Tsunami Safety Facts
1. Tsunamis that strike coastal locations in the Pacific Ocean Basin are almost always caused by earthquakes. These earthquakes might occur far away or near where you live.
2. Some tsunamis can be very large. In coastal areas their height can be as great as 10 m or more (30 m in extreme cases), and they can move inland several hundred meters.
3. All low lying coastal areas can be struck by tsunamis.
4. A tsunami consists of a series of waves with crests arriving every 10 to 60 minutes. Often the first wave may not be the largest. The danger from a tsunami can last for several hours after the arrival of the first wave. Tsunami waves typically do not curl and break, so do not try to surf a tsunami!
5. Tsunamis can move faster than a person can run.
6. Sometimes a tsunami initially causes the water near shore to recede, exposing the ocean floor.
7. The force of some tsunamis is enormous. Large rocks weighing several tons, along with boats and other debris, can be moved inland hundreds of meters by tsunami wave activity, and homes and buildings destroyed. All this material and water move with great force, and can kill or injure people.
8. Tsunamis can occur at any time, day or night.
9. Tsunamis can travel up rivers and streams from the ocean.
10. Tsunami can easily wrap around islands and be just as dangerous on coasts not facing the source of the tsunami.
The safety facts listed above are provided courtesy of NOAA. Click here more information from NOAA about how to stay safe in a tsunami.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
This picture shows a part of the Earth surface as seen from the International Space Station high above the Earth. A perspective like this reminds us that there are lots of different things that cover the...more
Like the other inhabitants of the desert, birds come up with interesting ways to survive in the harsh climate. The sandgrouse has special feathers that soak up water. It can then carry the water to its...more
Deserts are full of interesting questions. How can anything survive in a place with hardly any water? Why is it so dry to begin with? You can find at least one desert on every continent except Europe....more
You can find insects almost anywhere in the world. So it should be of no surprise that there are plenty of insects in the desert. One of the most common and destructive pests is the locust. A locust is...more
There are several species of mammals in the desert. They range in size from a few inches to several feet in length. Like other desert wildlife, mammals have to find ways to stay cool and drink plenty...more
Biomes are large regions of the world with similar plants, animals, and other living things that are adapted to the climate and other conditions. Explore the links below to learn more about some of the...more
The temperate forest biome is found in regions where there is large difference in temperature between winter and summer. Regions with this climate are generally found in the mid-latitudes, far from both...more