Top 10 Fascinating Tsunami Facts For Kids Of All Ages

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If you have a budding meteorologist at home, you have come to the right place. In this post, we cover some of the most incredibly interesting tsunami facts for kids. Every time your little one gets overwhelmed by the magnitude of the waves in a water body, they get curious about what would happen if the waves were even bigger. So, here we have curated some facts that will answer your child’s questions. Satisfy your child’s inquisitiveness with these facts.

What Is A Tsunami?

A Tsunami is a series of monstrous tidal waves in the ocean, which typically occur due to volcanic eruptions, tectonic plate disruptions, landslides, and earthquakes. Tsunami waves are huge, and they can be as long as hundreds of kilometers. The massive waves head towards the sea shore and keep getting bigger along the way (1). This is a brief introduction to know about tsunami for children.

Interesting Tsunami Facts For Kids:

Tsunamis have been the subject of many movies, and popular culture; their sheer size is the subject of many stories and legends. Here we look about some tsunami facts for kids which are sure to capture their imagination.

Fact 1:

What is the meaning of ‘Tsunami’? ‘Tsunami is originally a Japanese word that means ‘harbor waves’ since ‘Tsu’ means harbor and ‘nami’ means waves (2).

Fact 2:

A tsunami occurs in huge lakes or oceans when the water body displaces rapidly, which results in a series of massive waves that crash on the shore. Tsunamis occur due to geological disturbances that occur in the surrounding regions. Tsunamis can also occur due to earthquakes, meteorite impacts, underwater volcanic eruptions, and mass movements underwater (2).

Fact 3:

How do tsunamis form? Here the article will explain the facts about tsunamis for kids. When geological disturbances dislocate the plates of earth’s crust and generate energy, it displaces the body of water forming waves. Tsunamis tend to travel towards the shore similar to tides pulling back from the shoreline hundreds of meters. When the waves hit shallow water, their height boosts before they crush into coastline creating a great havoc (3).

Fact 4:

Tsunami waves can be extremely small that you may not even notice them. However, some tsunamis can be gigantic and reach a height of up to 125 feet or 38 meters. An earthquake can generate a tsunami wave that is as tall as 135 feet (4).

Fact 5:

The speed of a tsunami is about 970 kph (600 mph) which is identical to the speed of an airplane (5).

Fact 6:

One of the most deadly natural calamities that hit earth was on December 26, in 2004 as massive Tsunamis hit the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia on account of an earthquake under the Indian Ocean. About 2,40,000 people died in 14 different nations due to this Tsunami (6).

Fact 7:

In this decade, A tsunami hit on March 11 in 2011 on the north-east coast of Japan which is about 400 km from Tokyo due to an earthquake. The tsunami waves were around 100 to 125 feet in height and killed more than 18,000 individuals (7).

Fact 8:

Nearly 80% tsunamis occur due to volcanic eruptions in an area of Pacific Ocean which is popular as ‘Ring of Fire’ (8).

Fact 9:

Modern technology can identify and predict when a tsunami is likely to occur. Seismographs detect modifications in the height of waves and send signals and sirens to alert individuals residing near the shore (9).

Fact 10:

Geographical studies predict that some states in the USA, such as Alaska, Oregon, California, Hawaii, and Washington, are at risk to witness Tsunami. Hawaii is at the highest risk to witness tsunami as it is the abode of the largest volcano Mauna Loa and comprises five volcanoes. Tsunami prone zones have warning systems that alert people about the calamity and give them time to evacuate the place (11).

These interesting facts about Tsunamis will be informative and enlightening for your children. They will teach them about this natural phenomenon and the importance of taking care of mother Earth and valuing the natural resources. You can read these facts to them and show them some videos so that they would get a clear understanding. You can also ask them to read so they can share with their peers and have interesting questionnaires among themselves.

Infographic: How Does A Tsunami Affect The Environment?

Tsunamis don’t occur often. However, when they do, they can have a devastating effect on life and ecology. In this infographic, we list the effects of tsunamis on the environment and the top tsunami-prone areas globally. Save and share it with your child to arouse their interest in the topic.

tsunami ecological consequences and most prone areas [infographic]
Illustration: MomJunction Design Team


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Debolina Raja

Debolina Raja came into the writing world while she was playing around with words and participating in various literary events. In the professional world, she found her writing interest in various genres such as health, wellness, parenting, relationship, and brand management. Having done a Masters degree in English literature from Delhi University, she loves reading, heading out on road trips, hibernating... more