Tsunami, literally meaning ‘harbor wave’ in Japanese, is a series of giant ocean waves that are usually a devastating by-product of other natural disasters. Because they are a by-product, people living in the coastal areas that are the most prone to destruction can be warned of the catastrophe in advance. Tsunamis albeit notorious in today’s culture have been around since the start of time as they are caused by earthquakes, underwater landslides, or volcanoes. Two of the worst Tsunamis in the past decade or so hit the coasts of Southeast Asia which have affected over 11 countries. We bring you some of the scariest tsunami facts, the knowledge of which is imminent for your well-being.
Scary Tsunami Facts – Interesting
9. The Ring of Fire
Almost 80% of the total tsunamis in the world happen due to the natural disaster activities that occur in the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific Ocean. Most of them happen because of the energy bursting earthquakes that happen after the tectonic plates of the earth are displaced heavily. The total death toll of the past Tsunamis that occurred due to the Ring of Fire is over half a million people in the past two millennia. It is one of the scariest tsunami facts, especially to the people that live in the coastal areas of Pacific ocean.
8. Jetliner Speed
One of the main reasons that tsunami waves reach such a height and speed is because of minimal energy dispersion over a long distance travel. Tsunamis can reach over 600mph in raw speed which is equivalent to a speed of a jetliner. Because of their low energy dispersion, tsunami waves can travel an entire ocean without losing any real speed or menace. The biggest example of that came when an earthquake of a 9.5 temblor hit 100 miles off the coast of Chile. An 80-foot tsunami hit Chile in just 15 minutes. The wave traveled all the way across the biggest ocean on the planet, Pacific, and hit the coast of Japan 22 hours later; 10,000 miles away from the epicenter. It traveled at an average speed of 454 miles per hour.
7. The Killer Waves
Tsunamis are also some of the times referred to ass killer waves. That is about their obvious cataclysmic nature. One of the scariest tsunami facts is that they come in a series of waves which may increase in size one after another. Contrary to popular belief, the very first wave of tsunami barely causes loss of life. In fact, the 6th or 7th waves are known to be the most destructive.
Tsunamis are usually 10 feet in height. The 2004 tsunami was 30 feet high, and they could go as high as 100 feet. However, there is another category called the mega-tsunami; a phenomenon that occurs once in a lifetime or several centuries. The biggest mega tsunami hit Lituya Bay, Alaska, in 1958 which created a herculean tsunami of a record 1,700 feet in height. Although one of the scariest tsunamis fact, it is only a miracle that mere two fatalities happened because of it; or so many people are led to believe. Most likely, the death toll was so minimal because it happened in Alaska; world’s official smack dab middle of nowhere.
5. Animals are Smarter than Humans
Humans are often so self-absorbed that they forgo common sense regarding tsunamis; neither a scary nor hilarious fact but an interesting one nonetheless. Animals, far inferior in intellect, at least, seem to have a common sense of an impending disaster. People witnessed many animals such as elephants, dogs, flamingos et al. running for the higher ground hours before the 30 foot Indian Ocean water hit Southeast Asia. The Indian Ocean water flow is described as deadliest tsunami ever with an estimated death toll of over 283,000 people. If only people were as intuitive as animals, many lives could have been saved; callous I know, but true.
4. Biggest Tsunami in Japan
The 2011 tsunami occurred because of an 8.9 temblor which occurred near the Sendai region of Japan. The earthquake is listed as the 5th biggest in magnitude since the invention of the Richter scale. In general, the 2011 earthquake is listed as the biggest to hit Japan since it happened 1,200 years ago.
3. Height of a Tsunami
The height of any Water that travels through the ocean is never usually any more than 3 feet tall. That is when of the reason they can travel entire oceans unnoticed. The height of a ocean water when it hits a coastal area is dependent on the resistance it faces when it reaches the said coast. The high speed of the tsunami wave and the relatively non-existent speed of the ocean bed near the coast cause the killer wave to amass in height as a wall. One of the scariest tsunami facts is that it finally crashes into the coastal areas with a killer wave that could be 100 feet tall.
2. Harbinger of Doomsday
Regarding biblical predictions, tsunamis are often described as a precursor or the main cause of the doomsday. In scientific terms, a massive enough volcanic activity inside the earth’s surface could cause a series of tsunamis big enough to take out the whole world. Scientists, in fact, claim that a giant tsunami was triggered that wipe off life on Earth after a meteor hit some 3.5 billion years ago. One of the scariest tsunamis fact is that at any point in time, life could be forfeit because of them.
1. Go With the Flow
Most deaths that occur due tsunamis is that people often do not know the procedure of safety. If you live in a coastal area and an earthquake of 7.0 or higher hits there, it is immediately advised that you evacuate to higher grounds. If that doesn’t happen, you have to evacuate to higher grounds as soon as tsunami warnings are issued, which could be well in advance unless it is a local tsunami. If you fail to do even that, and the tsunami wave has approached you, go with the flow. Many fatalities occur when people try to swim. How can you swim against a tsunami wave traveling at over 100 mph? Best thing to do is to grab a floatable object and to let the current carry you.
There are no doubt so many scary tsunami facts that could make a person wonder about the significance of life and death. Just be aware of tsunami history of the area you live in and prepare your future accordingly because it will likely to follow the history of tsunami related events.