Tsunami

Authored by: Brian G. McAdoo

The Routledge Handbook of Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415590655
eBook ISBN: 9780203844236
Adobe ISBN: 9781136918698

10.4324/9780203844236.ch27

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Abstract

Earthquakes, landslides and even meteor impacts can generate the giant sea-waves known as tsunamis. When these low probability hazards impact highly populated and vulnerable coastlines, they often evolve into significant coastal disasters that cause hundreds of deaths and considerable economic losses every year (EM-DAT 2010). The destructive power of tsunamis captures our imagination – from the stories of waves generated by the eruption of Thera (Santorini) that may have contributed to the decline of the ancient Minoans on Crete (Antonopoulos 1992), to the images of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that changed the way the world views tsunami risk. Scientists, engineers and exposed populations have a variety of tools to plan for and respond to tsunamis, and yet disparities in environmental and socio-economic vulnerabilities have a direct effect on how exposed communities fare. Long recurrence intervals and short-term unpredictability pose further challenges.

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