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Natural Disasters

When and where is a tsunami likely to occur?


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September 09, 2015 8:16AM

Tsunamis occur most often along countries which border the Pacific "Rim of Fire", or "Ring of Fire" but they are not entirely restricted to just this region. One end of this region of high sesmic and volcanic activity begins at New Zealand, heading northwest to Indonesia (completely bypassing Australia) and then west to Papua New guinea and Indonesia, northeast along the Asian coastline, east to North America and then south along the western North American coastline. Roughly horse-shoe shaped, the Ring of Fire extends about 40,000km long, and tsunamis can be generated anywhere along this rim.

As for when tsunamis occur, they usually follow an earthquake. There are plates on the surface of the earth and there are some gaps between two plates, often under the sea. When these plates are moved, as in an undersea earthquake, it will generate movement of the water that develops into the huge sea wave known as a tsunami. As the sea wave approaches the shore it will increase in height and strength.