What are tsunamis? In Japanese, tsunami means “great harbor waves” Tsunamis happen when the earth’s crust moves and the tectonic plates rub together. This causes the ocean to send shock waves near cities and land. They are powerful, destructive, and can reach up to 100 feet high.
A tsunami starts pretty calm, but then, can end up becoming more aggressive. A tsunami begins moving slowly, but they can move up to 500 miles per hour.
In 1946, in Alaska an earthquake created a tsunami a few hours later, that killed 159 people in Hawaii. Also, an earthquake that hit Lisbon caused a tsunami that killed over 60,000 people.
More recently, on December 26, 2004, the second largest tsunami hit Southeast Asia, and killed hundreds of thousands of people.
There is new technology now that makes it easier to detect tsunamis and saves thousands of lives.
[Sources: Simpson Street Free Press; Associated Press]