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What is a Tsunami?

Geography | 8-14 yrs | Animation, Video
  • Tsunami is a Japanese word meaning harbour (tsu) wave (nami).
  • Animals can sense a Tsunami approaching because of their superior sense of hearing. People who have survived Tsunamis say that it sounds like standing near a moving freight train.
  • There are Tsunami warning systems attached to buoys in the ocean that transmit data about the ocean and serve as a warning system.
  • If the water along a shoreline begins to recede dramatically, it most likely means that a tsunami will follow in a few seconds or minutes.
  • A tsunami is not just one wave but a series of waves or a “wave train.”

Did you know?

  • When tsunamis are near the coast, they slow down but increase in height.
  • Tsunamis used to be referred to as tidal waves but aren’t anymore because they have nothing to do with the tides.
  • Some tsunamis may not appear on shore as a huge wave but as a quickly surging tide.

For more interesting Geography articles and videos, visit our Geography for Kids category.