A tsunami or a tidal wave is a series of destructive waves that are caused by the displacement of a volume of water. They are often observed as a result of a strong earthquake or a volcanic eruption.
They are one of the most destructive natural disasters on our planet. The 9.1-magnitude earthquake that struck the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia back in 2004 unleashed a tsunami that severely damaged 14 different countries and took away an estimated 230,000 lives, making it one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded.
Just like earthquakes, tsunamis are also unstoppable and can sometimes even more fatal. So, to survive, you need to be well aware of it. The only way to survive it is to educate yourself about it especially the hazards that it brings along with it.
In this article, we’ll teach everything that needs to know about these killer waves and give you tips on how to survive a tsunami.
What Are Tsunamis?
These are are a series of destructive waves with an average height of 3 meters. But there are also instances, where they can reach as high as 30 meters.
These destructive waves travel at a speed of 600 miles per second so running from it is not a good option. They can even go faster than 600 miles per second. Their speed hugely depends on the depth of the ocean they are coming from. This means that the deeper the sea is, the faster it will be.
What To Do If A Tsunami Strikes
Tsunamis strike fast which gives not enough time to react nor even enough time to run to safety. It can kill thousands in just one sweep making it incredibly fatal. It can also leave severe destruction on its wake leaving buildings and houses badly damaged after it strikes.
As of now, there’s nothing that can be done to prevent them from happening. But even though they are inevitable, we can still do something to help us become prepared in the event of a tsunami. You must keep in mind the following tips to ensure your survival should it strike near your place:
- Coastal and low-level areas are more prone to tsunamis. It’s advised to move to higher ground quickly once a warning signal is announced.
- Be wary of the signs of an incoming tsunami especially if you live near coastal areas such as water recession, roars, and underfoot tremors. If you notice these signs quickly evacuate the area and move to higher ground.
- Always prepare a waterproof survival kit which includes clean water, medicine, clothing, and some food supply.
- Be alert for any warning signals especially after a strong earthquake.
- Warning signals must not be ignored.
Protecting Yourself From A Tsunami
Tsunamis are mostly caused by earthquakes. If an earthquake has lasted for as long as 10-15 minutes it’s safe to expect that it will be followed by a tsunami. You have a tiny window to evacuate to higher ground right after the earthquake. It’s important that you follow the tips below to protect yourself from a tsunami.
- Forget about all your possessions when a tsunami strikes. The most important thing to do here is to save yourself and others as well if you can. Don’t think about saving your possessions as they will only prevent you from evacuating quickly. The only thing that you should bring with you in the event of a tsunami is your survival kit.
- Move to higher ground quickly and stay there for a while. They strike multiple times. You need to stay on higher ground for quite a while until it’s completely safe. They are known to hit multiple times for up to 3 days.
- Be cautious about the warnings and status reports issued by the authorities. Do not leave the high ground not until the authorities have given the final status reports about the tsunami. Many people have died because of inaccurate statements.
If you follow the tips mentioned above, your chances of surviving of a tsunami will significantly increase. Just stay vigilant and don’t panic so you’ll always know what to do in the event of a tsunami.