Tsunamis are massive waves generated by a displacement of water. Earthquakes or underwater explosions can trigger these waves, such as those caused by volcanic activity or underwater testing of nuclear devices. Tsunamis can travel at over 500 mph in deep water and can reach 1,700 feet in height at their most extreme.
Devastation of Homes
Tsunamis destroy the buildings in which people live and work. Many individuals who live in an area that is hit by a tsunami lose everything they own. All the businesses, streets and buildings with which they are familiar are destroyed. Many are left homeless and without resources in the initial aftermath. The rebuilding process is expensive, time-consuming and psychologically tumultuous.
Loss of Life
Tsunamis are difficult to detect far out at sea, since waves do not begin to gain size until they reach shallower waters. As a result they strike with very little warning, resulting in loss of human life. The tsunami that struck northern Japan after an offshore earthquake on March 11, 2011, killed at least 14,340 people, as buildings were crushed and thousands were trapped under debris or pulled out to sea.
Damage to Economy
Daily life for individuals in a nation affected by tsunami is altered by the damage the disaster can cause to the economy. Locations that were previously popular destinations for tourists suffer depression as a result of lost tourism, with visitors staying away out of fear and during reconstruction. Rebuilding after a tsunami puts a significant financial strain on governments as well, resulting in an economic downturn that can affect entire regions of the world.
After a tsunami strikes, landscapes that previously constituted picturesque beaches or seaside towns become a wasteland. In addition to the destruction of human construction, tsunamis destroy vegetation such as trees, resulting in landslides and coastlines that slip into the sea as deep root systems that previously held land in place are ripped out. These changes force human inhabitants to rebuild in an entirely different way, redesigning their lifestyles and livelihoods around an altered environment.