Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and meteorites. They are also known as seismic waves. Tsunamis travel in all directions as fast as 450 miles per hour with waves as high as 100 feet at the shore. Strong currents and riptides can be very dangerous. Areas that are most affected are coastal areas near the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the most at risk and has an average of one tsunami a year. Alaska is also at risk.

Deadliest in World History:

• Boxing Day Tsunami

• Occurred in 2004 in Indonesia

• Killed 230,000 people

• It was caused from an earthquake

• Waves started 20 minutes after the earthquake

Deadliest in U.S. History:

• Occurred in 1964 on the West Coast

• Killed an estimated 139 people

• Wave heights of 150 feet

• Caused by the Good Friday Earthquake which measured 9.2 on the Richter scale

• Caused $17 million in property damage


• Be aware of the water

• Get of the area if the water is moving funny


• Get as far away from the ocean as you can

• Do not go to the beach

• Remember that you cannot outrun a wave


• Don’t leave your home unless officials say it is safe

• Stay away from buildings with water around them because they could collapse

• Stay away from debris in the water


Meteorites: “space rocks” that fall from the sky and land on Earth

Debris: garbage, random pieces of wood, plastic, metal

Riptide: rip currents that can pull you or objects into the ocean

Source: FEMA: https://www.fema.gov/