(What to do before, during and after)
Tsunami is a Japanese word meaning harbor waves or hard waves. Tsunami is a sea wave caused by earthquake or volcanic eruptions. It is mistakenly called tidal waves. These waves are caused by unrest occurring in sea water due to earthquake in seabed, landslide, the eruption of underwater volcanoes and the fall of meteorites. Tsunami is released at speed of hundreds of kilometers per hour in the ocean.
When the tsunami reaches shallow coastal waters, slow waves and water can accumulate a wall of 10 meters or more. When the wave moves to island, if it penetrates into the gulf, harbor or lagoon, the impact will be severe. It has been proven that the height of severe tsunami may be more than 30 meters. From where the tsunami starts, waves move out in all directions. When the waves reach the beach, their altitude becomes very high. The coast line and seabed affect the size of the wave. There is sometimes more than a wave and each one may even be bigger than previous one. That’s why a small tsunami at one beach can be turned into a giant wave a few miles away. Tsunami is considered a great threat for life and property of the people living on the coast or near the beach. Movement, action and reaction of seabed caused by earthquake often leads to tsunami. Areas that are less than10 meters above sea level or are less than 2 kilometers away from coast line are exposed to a greater risk. Drowning is the greatest cause of death in tsunami.
The waves caused by a tsunami are very dangerous and destructive for buildings located within close range to it. Other risks caused by tsunami are flooding, contamination of drinking water, bursting of tanks and gas line fire.
Actions before tsunami
If there is the possibility of tsunami in the area you live, you should
- Learn the skills needed for effective relief work.
- If you are at the beach and you feel the landslide, go immediately to a higher place and look forward to hearing tsunami warning. Zone tsunami caused by local earthquake can reach some areas before warning people.
- When the tsunami warning is transferred, listen to local media to become aware of the evacuation command.
- Please go to high places and stay there.
- Get away from the beach; never go toward the beach to watch tsunami. If you can see the large waves, it means that the waves are so close that you don’t have enough time to escape.
- If you see substantial retreat of water from the beach, know that it is a sign or warning of tsunami occurring. So please notice and immediately leave the place.
- If you are on a ship or boat in the sea and the warning of tsunami for your area has been transferred, don’t return to the port because the activity of tsunami wave is imperceptible in open oceans.
- The safest place for the small boat owners is to leave the boat in harbor and move to higher places, especially, when local tsunami is coming.
Measures during tsunami
- Stay in high places and don’t return until the tsunami threat goes away and local authorities announce a normal situation.
Measures after tsunami
- Get away from the affected and flooded areas until the local authorities make you aware of its security.
- Get away from the shakedown and floating objects because it may be dangerous for people or boats.
- To save lives, contact responsible organizations such as fire stations, emergency and Red Crescent societies.