The Effects of Tsunamis
Tsunamis have the power to cause a lot of destruction to a shoreline. Not all tsunamis break on the shore, but even if they don’t they can still devastate an area by throwing around debris and causing floods. Floods can lead to many diseases and famine due to causing crop failure. Tsunami waves have the power to kill hundreds of thousands of people and obliterate buildings, plants, animals, cars, and almost everything. Sometimes survivors of a first tsunami wave will be lulled into a false sense of security after the first wave and not realize that they generally come in sets. These sets of waves can vary in their destructive power. These survivors may leave higher ground or not continue with a planned evacuation and end up as casualties to another wave. There have been many incredibly horrific tsunamis over the years, but there have been two extremely terrifying ones that have occurred during the last eight years. The first was in 2004, which hit Indonesia and Thailand. The second was this year, 2011, in Japan.
Dec. 26, 2004- the world’s most powerful earthquake in more than 40 years struck deep under the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra. The massive 9.1 magnitude quake even shook buildings in Bangkok, Thailand 1,242 miles (nearly 2,000 kilometers) from where the earthquake took place. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the underwater quake hit with the power of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs.
One of the biggest problems of the 2004 tsunami was that it struck a very populated place at a very popular time. Many tourists were visiting South East Asia for the winter hollidays. It hit Sumatra, Indonesia first and as the waves kept coming managed to hit Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.
This tsunami killed an estimated 220,000 people and made millions relocate because there homes and livelyhoods were gone.
March 11, 2011-
A major tsunami struck the shores of Japan. This tsunami wiped out some major cities and there are still people missing from it today. Approx. 4,000 people died, about 8,000 are still missing, and around 2,000 were seriously injured. On top of the general environmental damage and the death toll, there was another unexpected effect of the tsunami. A nuclear power plant was flooded. This meant that the power was shut down and a few towers weren’t cooled properly. There was a radiation leak and this affected even more people and threatened to even affect the coast of California, USA.
-This just goes to show that when trying to estimate the damage a tsunami might cause there are generally possibilities no one has thought of yet.