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Tsunami on the Move

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Tsunami Information Centres

Tsunami on the Move

Movement of Tsunamis

  • Tsunamis travel at jet airliner speeds in the deep ocean, but the waves are only centimeters high and cannot be felt aboard ship. When tsunamis hit shallow water, they are slow and their height grows tremendously.
  • Tsunamis can crest to 10-m high heights, strike with devastating force, and quickly flood all low-lying coastal areas.
  • Tsunamis threaten life and property.

Knowledge is Safety: Tsunami Warning Signs

An earthquake is one of nature’s tsunami warning signs. If you are at the beach and the ground shakes so hard you cant stand up, a tsunami may have been generated.

A tsunami may be preceded by a rapid fall in sea level as the ocean retreats exposing fish and rocks on the sea bottom. A roar like an oncoming train may be heard as a tsunami rushes toward the shore.

What You Should Do

  • After an earthquake is felt, move quickly inland and to higher ground.
  • A tsunami from a local earthquake can strike in minutes, and before a tsunami warning is announced.
  • A tsunami from distant locations can take up to 24 hours to cross an ocean basin.
  • Tsunami warnings will be announced advising coastal evacuation to safe shelters.
  • Learn to recognize natures’ warnings.
  • Heed official tsunami warnings.
  • Stay away from rivers and streams.
  • If you see a tsunami, you may not be able to outrun it.
  • Look for sturdy, multi-storied, reinforced concrete buildings and climb to its highest floor or the roof. If there is no time, climb up and cling to a strong tree.
  • If you’re swept up by a tsunami look for something to help you stay afloat, and to protect you from dangerous floating debris like houses, cars, and trees.