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i i tsunami (soo nah me) noun, series of long,high sea waves caused by a


tsunami (soo nah me) noun, series of long,high sea waves caused by a disturbance of ocean floor or seismicmovement. [ Jap.tsu harbour, namiwaveJ A tsunami is not a tidal wave. It has nothingto do with tides. Tsunamiscan be caused by earthquakes, volcanicaction on the ocean floor,volcanoes dumping huge amounts of material into the ocean and coastal and marine landslides.Largemeteors plunginginto the ocean may also cause tsunamis.

1883:Javaand Sumatra

it encountered the shallowwaters in Hilo Harbour, over 5000 kilometres away, it rose to a breaking wave of some 18 metres high.It demolished 500 homes and killed 159 people. It also impacted on

the Californiancoast where it killedseveral people. Today the TsunamisWarning System in Hawaii keeps a round-the-clockvigil usingcomputers and satellites.Ifa tsunami is confirmed, warnings are transmitted to allpotentiallythreatened points in the Pacific.

The largesttsunami in historicaltimes was generated

I998:PapuaNew Guinea

by the eruption of Krakatoavolcano in I883. The islandthat was Krakatoawas literallyblown apart. The tsunami generated impacted on the nearby

The recent tsunami in Papua New Guinea resulted from a shallowunderwater earthquake,30 kilometres offthe north coast, generating a succession of three waves risingto heights of IO metres. Three villages, Arop, Nimasand Waropu, were completelydestroyed while others received extensive damage. The three

islandsof Javaand Sumatra, at a breakingheight of an estimated 40 m. Approximately 36000 people were drowned.

I 946:Hawaiiand California

devastated villageshad a population of 8000 inhabitantsand approximately 2200 people died. Reports indicatethat it was mostlythe elderlyand childrenwho were killedinthe disaster. The tsunami was totally unexpected and no warningsystemwould have helped, due to the close proximityto the earthquake centre.

In 1946a magnitude 7.2 on the RichterScale submarine earthquake occurred near UnimakIsland, Alaska,and it was about five hours later the tsunamis hit the HawaiianIslands.The wave, lessthan one metre in height inthe open ocean, raced across the PacificOcean at speeds of about 800 km/hr and as

1. Which event is the least likely to be the cause of a tsunami?


an earthquake


a falling meteor


a landslide


a volcanic explosion

2. From the information it can be concluded that tsunamis are rare events.

D True

D False

3. Tsunamis are most dangerous when they (Tick two boxes.)

D reach shallow water.


have their origins close to the shore.


tum into tidal waves.


are recorded on the Tsunami Warning System.

4. A

vigil is

a form of ( keeping watch




). (Circle one answer.)

5. A warning system could have saved lives in Papua New Guinea.

D True

D False


The word tsunami is of


7. The 1883 tsunami was caused by a

caused by an ----------------

8. Which of the above disasters caused the greatest loss of life?

and the 1946 tsunami was


9. It could be concluded that a reading of 7.2 on the Richter Scale is a ( high (Circle one answer.)


) reading.