For most people living on the planet earth, earthquakes and tsunamis are all about what they read and
learn in Geography or what they see in news or online. However, earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan
are not something very unusual for the people living there. It would surprise one to know that tsunamis
in Japan have never been far away from thought. It would not be an overstatement to say that
tsunamis in Japan have killed tens of thousands of people and it keeps happening like never ending
waves that approach the shore from the depths of a sea.
So what makes Tsunamis in Japan a common phenomenon than elsewhere? In order to understand
tsunamis better, one has to understand how they occur and what actually causes them.
How tsunamis occur?
In a nutshell, tsunamis are caused by the rising or sinking of seabed when underwater earthquakes
occur. When this happens, large amount of water is displaced vertically which shows up on the surface
of the ocean much like a ripple sending large waves in all direction. These giant wavers are called
tsunamis in Japanese or tidal waves. Not all earthquakes result in tsunamis, if the intensity of the
earthquake is marked 7.5 or above on the Richter scale, such earthquakes can certainly result in
This is an important understanding as to why tsunamis in Japan are common than other places. Japan is
located in an area which is geologically very active. It is understood that the Japanese archipelago is
situated at a place where many oceanic and continental plates converge and they are in smaller or
bigger drift with each other causing disturbances. These disturbances are felt as earthquakes.
How destructive can tsunamis get?
Tsunamis can get very devastative and can contribute highly to extensive damage to lives and properties
of the people. The destructive force of tsunamis can depend on several factors such as the intensity of
the earthquakes that happen, the proximity to the origin center, the depth of water in the ocean set. As
the water goes deeper, the height of the tsunamis significantly get lower and sometimes it cannot be
even detected. For example, a boat of a ship in the deep seas where the water is very deep is much
safer than the boat that is near the coast of the ocean. The time required for a tsunami to devastate any
coast is very less as the powerful waves can become unstoppable as they approach coastal and they get
higher. They can wash away anything that is in front of it. The water alone can cause enough damage
and with debris in the water, the damage can be quite unimaginable.
Though man is so very much advanced, we have not reached a point where we can successfully predict
any kind of earthquakes that can lead into tsunamis. However, we have established ways to mitigate the
devastation and destruction caused by it.