What to do when a tsunami strikes?
It was one of the strongest earthquakes ever to be recorded - with a magnitude of at least 9 it is probably the fourth strongest event known in modern history, it shook even the rotation axis of earth and raised the bottom of the Indian Ocean by 5m. But the quake itself generated less destruction. It was the resulting wave - a Tsunami reaching 10 to 15m height on the coats of Sumatra, the nearest landmass from the epicentre.
15 minutes after the earthquake, at 8:14 the first wave reached the coast. The sea level first regressed and then suddenly a huge wave approached. The force of the water tore away much of the buildings in its way causing incredible destruction. The first wave cleared the path for the second one that was even faster and demolished the interior areas of the coast. The wave – that travelled for 8 hours through the Indian Ocean – brought destruction and death to Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar. The final death toll counted more than 300.000 fatalities, possibly thousands of bodies remained either lost to the sea or unidentified, and thousands of people injured.
What to do if it strikes again?
Tsunamis can wreak havoc on coastal populations and landscapes. The December 26, 2004 cleared the landscape on millions of acres of oceanfront terrain. Here are some measures you can take to avoid trouble if you're caught in a tsunami.
- When in coastal areas, stay alert for tsunami warnings.
- Plan an evacuation route that leads to higher ground.
- Know the warning signs of a tsunami: rapidly rising or falling coastal waters and rumblings of an offshore earthquake.
- Never stay near shore to watch a tsunami come in.
- A tsunami is a series of waves. Do not return to an affected coastal area until authorities say it is safe.
to be recorded- feljegyezve lenni
magnitude- nagyság, terjedelem
rotation axis of earth- a Föld tengelye
to generate- előidézni
landmass- nagy földterület (pl. kontinens)
to regress- visszahúzódni, hátrálni
to tear away- széttépni, szétszakítani
path- út, ösvény
to demolish- lerombol
to remain unidentified- azonosítatlanul maradni
to wreak havoc- nagy pusztítást végezni
to take measures to - lépéseket tenni valami érdekében
to avoid- elkerülni
to stay alert- ébernek lenni
evacuation route- evakuálási útvonal
warning sign - figyelmeztető jel
rumbling- moraj, dörgés, korgás
affected area- érintett terület