A tsunami is the Japanese term for a tidal wave. It is characterized by a wave train that happens when a large volume of water is displaced. Tsunamis can be caused by a number of factors. Earthquakes, underwater explosions, meteorite impacts, landslides and volcanic eruptions can produce a tsunami. Because of its huge water volume and its immense energy, tsunamis can cause huge damages to a lot of coastal areas. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the worst tsunami ever recorded. It was triggered by a 9.1 – 9.3 moment magnitude earthquake and killed as many as 300,000 people. It is considered one of the deadliest natural disasters in history. Because of this, prediction of a tsunami is a field of science that has gained importance over the years. Scientists have been constantly forming strategies and methods to predict these killer waves. Here is how you can predict a tsunami.
- Watch out for earthquakes. Earthquakes usually cause tsunamis. When a high-magnitude earthquake occurs, it can be expected that tsunamis can be generated elsewhere. The possibility of such an occurrence is intensified when an earthquake is generated in an area that is surrounded by a body of water. Since an earthquake needs to happen first before a tsunami can be expected, the best thing that people can do is to warn people living in areas that are located an hour or even a number of hours away from where the earthquake happened. Tsunamis move fast. An efficient warning system is needed because by the time that the nearest area has been warned, that same area may have already been damaged and devastated by the tsunami.
- Watch out for volcanic eruptions. Explosive eruptions can displace a large amount of water through debris avalanches, pyroclastic flows and landslides. Formation of calderas because of collapsing volcanoes can also suddenly displace water. When any of these disasters happen, you can expect that a tsunami can be generated. Hence, you need to always watch out for news for explosive eruptions in order to be warned of the risk of tsunami generation.
- Watch out for tsunami warnings from monitoring stations. In the Pacific Ocean, a warning system called the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has been set up in order to monitor tsunami occurrences. It uses a network of seismographic and tidal stations strategically located in the Pacific basin in order to get and process data to predict whether a tsunami can be generated. Warning signals are sent out to coastal areas in the Pacific when a tsunami is detected.
- Know if the area where you live in has been visited by tsunamis in the past. Some places are more prone to tsunamis than others. Tokyo, Hawaii, California and Singapore are some of these. In case you are living in an area where there is a great threat of a tsunami occurrence, be aware of some of the tsunami safety rules and make sure that you follow all of them.
Take note of all of these ways to predict a tsunami since a tsunami knows no concept of time. It can occur at any time, on any day so you should be prepared at all times.