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TSUNAMI EVENTS AND LESSONS LEARNED

Tsunami Events and Lessons Learned

Author(s)                 Yev Kontar, Vincente Santiago-Fandino, Tomoyuki Takahashi
Publisher Springer
Date 2014
Pages 367
Format pdf
Size 19.9 Mb

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   The term Tsunami comes from the Japanese language meaning Harbour Wave, often confused with tidal wave, particularly by the press. The meaning has evolved becoming in general terms a large oceanic wave caused by geological activity such as earthquakes and underwater volcanic eruptions, submarine landslides or by fallen material from space such as meteorites. Throughout history tsunamis have occurred with more or less frequency, intensity and power mainly in certain areas of the planet were the tectonic plates, faults and volcanoes are highly active i.e. the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific Rim and the Indian Ocean. Tsunamis have also been recorded in the Caribbean Sea and with much less frequency in the North Atlantic. Although these types of oceanic events often are harmless due to their small size, others may cause incalculable damage in terms of human loss and to the society; with enormous impact to the environment; local, regional or even national economy, infrastructure and lifeline services. Coastal communities have been most vulnerable to tsunami as they directly receive the full destructive power by waves and run-up. Once the tsunami is generated reaching the shallow coastline its power is concentrated in a smaller volume causing havoc. Theoretically, the power gathered in the tsunami wave reaching Sri Lanka in 2004 was theoretically about 1 GW per kilometer of shoreline. This energy is enough to power a city of a half a million inhabitants or the equivalent of production of one of the Fukushima Nuclear Reactors prior to destruction.

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