The most common causes of tsunamis are underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides. Literally translated from Japanese, "tsunami" is "a big wave in the bay." Most often, tsunamis occur in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Back in the 5th century BC, the Greek historian Thucydides explained the appearance of tsunamis by underwater earthquakes.
8 Interesting facts about the tsunami
- The tsunami hits the coast in not one wave, but a whole series. The first wave is not always the most destructive. Therefore, people who try to return home after the first blow of the elements make a big mistake. The speed of waves in the ocean can reach 900 km / h. As you approach the coast, the speed decreases significantly.
- The incredible speed of killer waves is one of the main reasons that seismologists simply do not have time to notify the population of those regions where a tsunami may strike in the near future. On May 22, 1960, a powerful tsunami occurred 160 kilometers off the coast of Chile. Within 15 minutes, the waves reached the coast.
- Many animals are capable of predicting tsunamis. For example, in 2004, tourists quietly rode elephants in Thailand. Suddenly, the animals began to get nervous and, despite the commands of the drivers, rushed away from the shore. A few minutes later, powerful waves crashed here.
- Interestingly, palm trees have successfully resisted the tsunami invasion. When everything collapses around, and other types of trees are uprooted, palms remain practically unharmed. The branched root system of palm trees is an excellent counterbalance. And the trunk of these trees is very flexible, it is difficult to break it even by a tsunami and hurricane wind.
- Europe is rarely hit by tsunamis. But, in 1755, the Portuguese city of Lisbon was almost completely destroyed. According to the documents, about 60, 000 people became victims of the tragedy. The sailors who visited the port after the tsunami simply did not recognize it. This disaster was one of the reasons that Portugal began to lose the title of great maritime power.
- On November 5, 1952, the Soviet city of Severo-Kurilsk, located on the island of Paramushir (Kuril Islands), fell victim to the tsunami. Waves up to 18 meters high destroyed the city. The tsunami attack occurred early in the morning, when people were still asleep. Therefore, most of the residents were caught by surprise. Killed 2, 300 people out of 6, 000 residents of Severo-Kurilsk. In the USSR, this tragedy was not officially reported for a long time.
- The Soviet government decided to establish a Tsunami Warning System. Several seismic stations have been opened. But, as mentioned above, scientists were far from always able to warn in time about an impending catastrophe. About 70% of warnings turned out to be false, and every fifth case of a tsunami was simply not noticed.
- Asteroid 20002 Tillismith got its unusual name in honor of 10-year-old Englishwoman Tilly Smith, who in December 2004 was vacationing with her parents in Thailand. At school, she remembered that before a tsunami, the water can abruptly move away from the coast. Noticing such a phenomenon on the beach, Tilly warned her parents, and they warned the hotel staff. Thanks to the timely evacuation, casualties were avoided.