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What are the factors of destruction from tsunamis?

There are three factors of destructions from tsunamis: inundation, wave impact on structures, and erosion.  Strong, tsunami-induced currents lead to the erosion of foundations and the collapse of bridges and seawalls.  Flotation and drag forces move houses and overturn railroad cars.  Considerable damage is caused by the resultant floating debris, including boats and cars that become dangerous projectiles that may crash into buildings, break power lines, and may start fires.  Fires from damaged ships in ports or from ruptured coastal oil storage tanks and refinery facilities, can cause damage greater than that inflicted directly by the tsunami.  Of increasing concern is the potential effect of tsunami draw down, when receding waters uncover cooling water intakes of nuclear power plants.

Destruction of Hilo, Hawaii harbor pier during 1946 Aleutians Islands tsunami.

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Regional Disaster Information Center (Latin America & the Caribbean)


A database of Spanish language materials focused on tsunami preparedness.
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Post-Tsunami Survey:
El Salvador Summary Video

Learn the basics of a post-tsunami survey.
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TsunamiTeacher USA
Tsunami Basics
  

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Learn the basics of tsunamis. Available in English and Samoan.

 
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Tsunami Awareness Poster


Awareness poster available in English, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Singalese.

 
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Global Hazard Maps


Posters of Tsunami Sources, Significant Earthquakes and Significant Volcanic Eruptions. Also Tsunami Sources Icosohedron Globe.

 
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Tsunami, The Great Waves

Available in English, Spanish, French and Chinese.

 

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Tsunami Glossary


Available in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Bahasa. 

 

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Where the First Wave Arrives in Minutes

Available in English, Bahasa, Spanish and French.
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TsunamiTeacher

DVD copies for PC and Macintosh computers are available free of charge from the ITIC, Hawaii (itic.tsunami@noaa.gov).

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