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Shvoong Home>Social Sciences>tsunami Summary

tsunami

Article Summary   by:riji     Original Author: priya
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2004 Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami is a series of waves created when a body of water, such as an ocean, is rapidly displaced. Earthquakes, mass movements above or below water, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides, large meteorite impacts comet impacts and testing with nuclear weapons at sea all have the potential to generate a tsunami. The effects of a tsunami can range from unnoticeable to devastating. The Latin derivative of the word for the smaller waves experienced across the Italian coast was Fillius Sum Sunamus which means, son of tsunamis, inspired by the Japanese word similar to "tsunami" after relations with the shogun of Japan. The term tsunami comes from the Japanese words meaning harbour and wave. . For the plural, one can either follow ordinary English practice and add an s, or use an invariable plural as in Japanese. The term was created by fishermen who returned to port to find the area surrounding their harbor devastated, although they had not been aware of any wave in the open water. Tsunamis are common throughout Japanese history; approximately 195 events in Japan have been recorded. A tsunami has a much smaller amplitude (wave height) offshore, and a very long wavelength (often hundreds of kilometers long), which is why they generally pass unnoticed at sea, forming only a passing "hump" in the ocean. Tsunamis have been historically referred to tidal waves because as they approach land, they take on the characteristics of a violent onrushing tide rather than the sort of cresting waves that are formed by wind action upon the ocean (with which people are more familiar). Since they are not actually related to tides the term is considered misleading and its usage is discouraged by oceanographers.
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) December 26, 2004, with an epicenter off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing more than 225,000 people in eleven countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 m (100 ft). This was the ninth deadliest natural disaster in modern history. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and Myanmar were hardest hit. With a magnitude of between 9.1 and 9.3, it is the second largest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. This earthquake had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes. It caused the entire planet to vibrate as much as 1 cm (½ in) and triggered other earthquakes as far away as Alaska The disaster is known by the scientific community as the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, and is also known as the Asian Tsunami and the Boxing Day Tsunami. The tsunami occurred exactly one year after the 2003 Bam earthquake and exactly two years before the 2006 Hengchun earthquake. The plight of the many affected people and countries prompted a widespread humanitarian response. In all, the worldwide community donated more than $7 billion (2004 US dollars) in humanitarian aid.
Published: November 29, 2007   
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