How to Survive a Tsunami, According to Science


you're on a beach not a worry in the

world the Sun bronzing your skin sand

trickling between your toes the sound of

waves wait what

where did all the water go did you see

it going out better act quickly in a

matter of minutes you may be underwater

here's how to survive a tsunami

according to science tsunamis are

triggered by intense underwater activity

usually an earthquake or an underwater

volcanic eruption these events displace

huge volumes of water pushing it up from

the oceans floor to its surface but when

gravity pulls it back down all this

built-up energy is released outwards

forming deadly waves that grow stronger

as they ripple across the ocean a

tsunamis waves can be 100 kilometres

long and sometimes taller than 30 metres

they can travel across whole oceans

moving at the speed of a jet airplane so

with such speed strength and stamina how

does anyone stand a chance even in a

tsunami hazard zone you can still

survive if you know what to do the first

step to survival is to be able to

identify the early signs of a tsunami

the Pacific Ocean is home to volatile

tectonic activity which explains why 75%

of the world's volcanic eruptions and

90% of the world's earthquakes occur in

the Pacific these geological

disturbances are the reason why 85% of

all tsunamis happen in the Pacific Ocean

in most cases an earthquake comes before

a tsunami so if you're near the coast

and you experienced an earthquake

protect yourself from that first but

once the shaking stops move to higher

ground as quickly as possible the beach

will grow bigger run the other way an

early sign of an impending tsunami is

that the water along the coast will

recede it pulls back and exposes the sea

floor do not go to the beach to

investigate you'll only be putting

yourself at risk for when the water

surges back instead head in the opposite

direction try to get as far as three and

a half kilometers from the ocean or

thirty meters above sea level to an

sure your safety get to the highest

elevation possible tsunamis travel

quickly and you may not have enough time

to clear the hazard zone in this case

look for a tall building with a sturdy

concrete foundation if you see one

nearby run inside and get to the roof as

quickly as possible if you can't make it

to a building in time

your best bet is to grab on to something

and hold on though that might not sound

very practical hold the eye roll for a

moment in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

an Indonesian woman was finally rescued

after holding onto a palm tree for five

days straight while it isn't ideal if

you can't get to higher ground in time

you need to find something to hold on to

as the tsunami moves inland it will

sweep tons of debris along with it this

can be very dangerous as the

accumulation of debris traveling at high

speeds become fatal obstacles for anyone

who's caught in the current however many

tsunami victims have been saved by

climbing on two detached roofs or

holding on tightly to floating cars or

other large objects of course if you've

made it this far your troubles aren't

over yet

a tsunami isn't one wave but a series of

waves known as a tsunami wave train

waves may be anywhere from five minutes

apart to an hour apart and be aware that

the first wave that hits isn't always

the strongest so even when you think

it's over

stay where you're safe until you hear

from local officials it goes without

saying tsunamis are terrifying and when

a 30 meter wave is hurtling towards you

at 800 kilometres per hour you're

probably feeling pretty helpless but

have faith in science trust empirical

research and you'll see there's always a

way out

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