World Tsunami Map showing largest Tsunamis to occur in recent history
World Tsunami Map showing largest Tsunamis to occur in recent history

Tsunamis or Tidal Waves and how they are revered as one of the most destructive natural disasters known to man. This article is a supplement to the recent article “Are Strong Earthquakes on the Rise in 2016?”  and features answers to many questions as to what causes them, how frequent they are, whether they are increasing in frequency, how big can they get, what their destructive power is equivalent too, past notable events, where they mainly occur and what the future holds in terms of Tsunami Prediction and finally how they relate to Bible Prophecy. Also a look at the glamourised Hollywood take and Tsunami special effects seen in films and how they relate to the real world. Can they actually get that big?  Lastly some tips on Tsunami survival by actual survivors!

VID: Tsunamis in action.Indonesia 2004 and Japan 2011 and the next Mega Tsunami Prediction?
A tsunami is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, normally in an ocean or a large lake. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions (including detonations of underwater nuclear devices), landslides, glacier calvings, meteorite impacts and other disturbances above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami. Unlike normal ocean waves which are generated by wind or tides which are generated by the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun, a tsunami is generated by the displacement of water. Information Courtesy Wikipedia

USGS explanation of how Tsunamis are generated.

The Hollywood take on Tsunamis in Films?
Some famous Hollywood Films that feature Tsunamis in various shapes and forms and sizes from the earliest in 1969 to the present day with Video trailers. Some are obviously dated, some are ridiculous and some are in effects terms horrific and realistic.

1. The Abyss (James Cameron, 1989)

2. Meteor (Ronald Neame, 1979)

3. Poseidon (Wolfgang Petersen, 2006) .

4. Krakatoa, East of Java (Bernard Kowalski, 1969)

5. Deep Impact (Mimi Leder, 1998)

6. 2012 (Roland Emmerich, 2009)

7. Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010)

8. Lo Imposible (The Impossible) (Juan Antonio Bayona, 2012)

9. The Day After Tomorrow 2004

10. Sand Andreas Mega Tsunami. scenes from the film 2015)

Tsunami FAQ’s

How do Tsunamis differ from normal waves?
Tsunamis or Tidal Waves do not resemble normal waves. No matter what their size as in height, normal waves are the result of currents, wind, tides and other atmospheric conditions. A wave no matter the size only last for a short duration and stretch over a relatively short distances. If a large wave hits. it’s possible to survive a normal wave by taking a deep breath as surfers prove time and again in their sport. Tsunamis are different as they are caused by violent underground earth movements such as earthquakes and these waves are a solid wall of water, a surge not only varying in height (depending on the depth and intensity of the earthquake), but also the wave lengths can stretch for hundreds of miles. Coupled with the fact that the duration of these waves is not measured in seconds or at most a minute or so, their duration can be anything up to 10 minutes. Tsunamis are literally a wall of water that are very difficult to survive. Simply taking a deep breath and holding your breath is a survival strategy doomed to failure. Tsunamis obliterate everything in their path.

How often do tsunamis occur?
On the average, two tsunamis occur per year throughout the world which inflict damage near the source. Approximately every 15 years a destructive, ocean-wide tsunami occurs.

Do all large undersea earthquakes generate tsunamis?
No. The earthquake must cause significant vertical deformation of the seafloor in order for a tsunami to occur. Tsunamis are more likely to happen from shallower and larger earthquakes than deeper or smaller ones.

How big is a tsunami?
Tsunamis range in size from inches to over a hundred feet. In deep water (greater than 600 feet/180 meters), tsunamis are rarely over 3 feet (1 meter) and will not be noticed by ships due to their long period (time between crests). As tsunamis propagate into shallow water, the wave height can increase by over 10 times.

Tsunami heights vary greatly along a coast. The waves can be amplified by shoreline and bathymetric (sea floor) features. A large tsunami can flood low-lying coastal land over a mile from the coast.

How long do tsunamis last when they happen?
Since a tsunami consists of a series of waves, the danger can last for many hours. Large tsunamis are generally recorded for a few days following the event.

How frequent are they?
They happen on average twice a year but the really big ones following a Mega Quake or similar event are rarer the last being 2004 and 2011.

How big can they get. Myth and Fact?
The most recent and worse Tsunami in history took place in 2004 where a 9.0 Magnitude Earthquake caused a catastrohpic Tsunami that killed 250,000 people and injured many more. This was the result of a Mega Thrust Earthquake or a Mega Quake way out at sea. Some scientists are predicting we are on the verge of another such quake especially with the two recent strong quakes complete with aftershocks in Ecuador and Japan

What is their destructive power and examples?
When water is moving at 30 or 40 miles an hour, like the tsunami that inundated northern Japan on Friday, the heaviness of water turns deadly. Imagine 1,700 pounds hitting you at that speed, and each cubic yard of water as another 1,700 pounds bearing down on you. The destructiveness of a tsunami is not just one runaway car, but a fleet of them.

Philip N. Froelich, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University. “And by the time you’re talking about a wall of water that’s 10 meters high, if that wave is two miles long into the ocean, it’s basically like a hundred tanks coming across you. Even though it’s a fluid, it operates like a solid hammer.”

Warning and Prediction Systems?

Tsunami warning signs
Drawbacks can serve as a brief warning. People who observe drawback (many survivors report an accompanying sucking sound), can survive only if they immediately run for high ground or seek the upper floors of nearby buildings. In 2004, ten-year-old Tilly Smith of Surrey, England, was on Maikhao beach in Phuket, Thailand with her parents and sister, and having learned about tsunamis recently in school, told her family that a tsunami might be imminent. Her parents warned others minutes before the wave arrived, saving dozens of lives. She credited her geography teacher, Andrew Kearney. Information Wikipedia.

A tsunami cannot be precisely predicted, even if the magnitude and location of an earthquake is known. Geologists, oceanographers, and seismologists analyse each earthquake and based on many factors may or may not issue a tsunami warning. However, there are some warning signs of an impending tsunami, and automated systems can provide warnings immediately after an earthquake in time to save lives. One of the most successful systems uses bottom pressure sensors, attached to buoys, which constantly monitor the pressure of the overlying water column. One recently off the East Coast of the US caused a false alarm, but shows that they do work.

Further information at National Oceangraphic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA

Past notable Tsunami events the Top 10? The 10 deadliest tsunamis

Rank Death toll Event Location Date
1. 300,000-500,000 (est.) 365 Crete earthquake Greece July 21, 365
2. 280,000 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami Indian Ocean December 26, 2004
3. 123,000[1] 1908 Messina earthquake Italy December 28, 1908
4. 36,417–120,000 1883 eruption of Krakatoa Indonesia August 26, 1883
5. 40,000–50,000[42] 1755 Lisbon earthquake Portugal November 1, 1755
6. 30,000-100,000 (est.) Minoan Eruption Greece 2nd Millennium BC
7. 31,000 1498 Meiō Nankaidō earthquake Japan September 20, 1498
8. 30,000 1707 Hōei earthquake Japan October 28, 1707
9. 27,122[57] 1896 Sanriku earthquake Japan June 15, 1896
10. 25,674 1868 Arica earthquake Chile August 13, 1868

Where they mainly occur?
According to Earth Observatory Every coastal area and river estuary is potentially threatened by tsunamis, but they are most likely to happen on shores facing directly a megathrust. Scientists estimate that almost three quarter of the world tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean, where the megathrusts (subduction zones) are so common (Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Chile, Philippines, Japan etc) aka “The Ring of Fire”. Further informaton at Earth Observatory

What the future holds in terms of Tsunami Prediction?
Enter the wild and wacky world of Tsunami predictions with 1000ft waves, mass destruction and other biblical and apocalyptic style scenarios. Are these scenarios way off the mark, OR is something on it’s way the likes of which has never been seen before as mentioned in the Bible. Various scientists have come up with numerous theories about where the next Mega Tsunami will come from, here’s 4 headlines that focus on a major Tsunami either hitting the East Coast or the West of America along with 2 Documentary style videos from respected sources that touch on this subject.

Vid: Mega Disaster Tsunami 2006 – HD

Vid:  Tsunami Documentary   The Next Mega Tsunami Discovery Channel

Scientists Warn Of Massive Tidal Wave From Canary Island Volcano By Steve Connor Science Editor The Independent – London

Could a 400ft Tsunami hit the East Coast The Silver Doctors

The Really Big One The New Yorker

Should the East Coast Worry About a Tsunami News Discovery

Surviving a Tsunami?

Holding your breath for a minute or so will not cut it in the Tsunami survival stakes as these waves have a duration of up to ten minutes per wave with multiple waves being common. Tsunamis are nothing like normal waves, more like a wall of water. Even if you could hold your breath for ten minutes or use an oxygen tank strapped to your back like divers, the amount of debris these waves collect when they hit land including buildings, cars, sharp objects, your chances of survival when caught up in one of these is minimal.

Here’s some hardocre tips from people who have seen a Tsunami and lived to tell the tale.

Many Will Survive the Earthquake
Heed Natural Warnings
Heed Official Warnings
Expect Many Waves
Head for High Ground and Stay There
Abandon Belongings
Don’t Count on the Roads
Go to an Upper Floor or Roof of a Building
Climb a Tree
Climb onto Something that Floats
Expect the Waves to Leave Debris
Expect Quakes to Lower Coastal Land
Expect Company

Further information available at Surviving a Tsunami—Lessons from Chile, Hawaii, and Japan via USGS

If you hear an official tsunami warning or detect signs of a tsunami, evacuate at once.
Take your emergency preparedness kit. Having supplies will make you more comfortable during the evacuation.
Take your pets with you. If it is not safe for you, it’s not safe for them.
Get to higher ground as far inland as possible.

Tsunami Preparedness | Tsunami Safety Tips | via  Red Cross

How do Tsunamis relate to Bible Prophecy
See the previous article on Earthquakes for more Bible quotes that relate to earthquakes that could potentially cause a Tsunami. Revelation mentions a large meteorite that hits the sea mentioned as a “mountain” but no mention of a Tsunami although such an event would cause one of epic proportions if it were to hit the sea, more so than a mega quake!

Revelation 8:8-9
Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck

8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Some other general quotes that mention Tsunami’s in one form or another from the bible

Luke 21:25 – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Psalms 107:25 – For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

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