Tuesday, 9 August 2016

All about tsunamis, By Sophie

All about tsunamis

What a tsunami is

Do you know what a tsunami is? Tsunami is a japanese word that means "Harbour wave". Tsunamis are big waves that cause destruction. Not only that, it also sweeps out the debris after it comes in which makes it worse. It can kill up to thousands of people every time it happens.

The cause and process of a Tsunami

A tsunami is caused by many reasons, but all of them make sudden movement of the ocean floor. Most tsunamis are caused by underwater earthquakes. An underwater earthquake is caused when the tectonic plates of the earth surface slip, making and releasing a massive amount of energy.

The energy carries up to the surface, moving the water and raising it above the normal sea level. But it's not that simple. Gravity then pulls it down so the water will ripple outwards. A tsunami is made from all of this.

The tsunami will gradually slow down and increase height when it approaches land. Once it reaches land, then it will start its destruction. A tsunami goes as far as 16 kilometres in. After it goes in, the water will sweep back out to the ocean/sea, dragging everything that has been caught in its path.

What happens in a tsunami and how to keep safe

It can kill many people, right? Nobody wants to be killed, right? So we must know how to protect ourselves when a tsunami is coming. The reason the japanese called tsunamis "harbor waves" is because you can only see a tsunami when it is close to the shore. That also make it hard to detect a tsunami quicker.

But before it comes in, the tide will retreat further than usual. You can watch for that to know whether a tsunami is coming. If there is an earthquake that is shaking severely/makes it hard to stand up, that could mean a tsunami is approaching. If the water is moving strangely of making odd sounds, that is also another sign for a tsunami coming.

When a tsunami occurs, get to higher ground or as far away from the coast immediately. That way, you might avoid getting swallowed by the water. If it is too late, go on the roof/higher level of a tall building or hold on to a tree or a floating object. Boats are usually safest in waters taller than 20 metres. Be cautious that there could be over one wave and they could be bigger, stronger and more destructive.

Remember that the water will soon go back out to the sea/ocean. Try to not stray from your spot until you are positive that the tsunami is over. Otherwise, you could be swept out to sea with the retreating water.

It will take a long time to restore everything back to normal. Houses, cars, apartments, buildings, power lines; they all could be damaged. Be careful of what water you drink, it could be contaminated. Thousands of people will probably be killed/missing. People could be injured/unconscious. Remember your own safety before helping others. If you see someone trapped in a dangerous spot, don't attempt to help them. Call the ambulance/police/firetruck for help. Everything might never be the same after the tsunami.

A bit more about tsunamis

Tsunamis are hazardous. They kill lots of people. We need to learn about them to be safe. Did you know there are three types of tsunamis? They're called: Distant tsunamis, Regional tsunamis and Local tsunamis. The local tsunamis are the most dangerous because you only get a few minutes warning! The other two are slightly safer because the warning time is a few hours (a regional tsunami gets 1-3 hours warning and the distant tsunami gets over three hours warning).

So now you know a bit about tsunami and how to survive. You've got to remember this for future use so you don't end up dead in a tsunami. Tsunamis can be any size, any shape, but they are all deadly.


  1. Hi Sophie lovely writing and you gave lots of information about tsunami. How long did you spend to finished the writing?

    1. I took a little more than a week to write this.

  2. Great work Shopie that description of a tsunami sounds really dangerous i’m glad I now know what to do if one is coming.