TSUNAMIS There are Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Floods, Fires and Avalanches. Then there are Tsunamis, The often overlooked stress relief system of the earth. Tsunamis are huge waves often called Tidal Waves but they have nothing to do with the diurnal pattern of high and low tides. Tsunami is a Japanese word used as the scientific term for seismic sea wave, a large ocean wave caused by an undersea earthquake. One theory is that the waves are triggered when the ocean floor is tilted or offset during an earthquake. Another possible cause is an undersea landslide or volcanic eruption.

Most tsunamis originate along the so-called Ring of Fire, a ring of volcanoes and seismic activity, 32, 500 km long, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Since 1819, about 40 tsunamis have struck the Hawaiian Islands. A Tsunami may travel hundreds of kilometres across the deep ocean, reaching speeds of about 725 to 800 km / hr . They have known to be seen out running airliners. This may be hard to believe but the wave may have been only about half a metre high out at sea, then suddenly begins growing rapidly as it creeps toward shore.

By the time it reaches the shore, it may become a towering wall of water 15 m -35 m (50-115 feet) high or more, capable of destroying entire coastal settlements. A famous Tsunami was the Chilean Tsunami which occurred on May 22, 1960. An earthquake occurred off the coast of South Central Chile. A Pacific-wide tsunami was triggered by the earthquake. The number of fatalities associated with both the tsunami and the earthquake has been estimated to be between 490 and 2, 290. Damage cost estimates were over a half billion dollars.

The information below is quite different from the thoughts and views of the public on Tsunamis, I mentioned earlier the |shocking X figures now for the less shocking. (or more) The following information is current and real obtained from the Alaskan Tsunami Detection Centre: (most recent Tsunami) A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7. 0 occurred at 0814 UTC 5 SEPT 1996 and was located in the vicinity of the East Pacific rise (22 S 113 W). The earthquake produced a tsunami that was observed at the following locations by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center: Location Maximum Height Easter Island 12 cm PTT Juan Fernandez 15 cm PTT Lobos de A fuera 8 cm PTT Valparaiso Unmeasurable This shows how Tsunamis can vary immensely in velocity and height. It is very hard to predict how a Tsunami will end up, will it be a ripple and be unnoticeable by the public or will it be a raging mass of water ripping apart everything in its path as it reaches the coastline Tsunamis are certainly the least talked about natural disaster in Australia but this just shows the ignorance of society if the matter doesn+t involve or concern them. Tsunamis interest me more than any other natural phenomena, so I thoroughly enjoyed sharing this information with you..