A tsunami is a giant wave (or series ofwaves) created by an underseaearthquake, volcanic eruption orlandslide . Tsunamis are often calledtidal waves, but this is not an accuratedescription because tides have littleeffect on giant tsunami waves.
-> Also called seismic sea wave .->Generated by an undersea geologic event, such as agreat earthquake, volcanic explosion, or underwaterlandslide .->“Tsunami” in Japanese means “harbor wave” .->Tsunamis are not “tidal waves” .
Subduction Zone Earthquake-> Oceanic crust collides with continental crust and is forced downward .-> Compression forces build until rock fractures and an earthquake occurs .
1. The December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquakethat is thought to have had the energy of 23,000 atomic bombs.2. The epicenter of the 9.0 magnitude quake was under the Indian Ocean nearthe west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.3. The tectonic plates in this area had been pushing against each other, buildingpressure for thousands of years – they continue to do so and will likely causeunderwater earthquakes and tsunamis in the future.4. The shifting of the earth’s plates in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004caused a rupture more than 600 miles long, displacing the seafloor above therupture by perhaps 10 yards horizontally and several yards vertically. That doesntsound like much, but the trillions of tons of rock that were moved along hundredsof miles caused the planet to shudder with the largest magnitude earthquake in40 years.
5. Within hours of the earthquake, killer waves radiating from the epicenterslammed into the coastline of 11 Indian Ocean countries, damaging countries fromeast Africa to Thailand.6. The Indian Ocean tsunami traveled as far as 3,000 miles to Africa and stillarrived with sufficient force to kill people and destroy property.7. The risk of famine and epidemic diseases was extremely high immediatelyfollowing the tsunami – bodies rotting in the tropical heat contaminated food andwater sources.8. Many people in Indonesian reported that they saw animals fleeing for highground minutes before the tsunami arrived – very few animal bodies were foundafterward.
Dead and missing in countries hit by December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean TsunamiCountry dead missing totalIndonesia 126,473 93,943 220,416Sri Lanka 30,957 5,637 36,594India 10,749 5,640 16,389Thailand 5,595 3,001 8,596Somalia 298 * - 298 *Maldives 82 - 82Malaysia 68 - 68Burma 61 - 61Tanzania 10 - 10Bangladesh 2 - 2Kenya 1 - 1Total 174,296 108,221 282,517