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Tsunami waves approaching Kessennuma port, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, in the aftermath of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake of March 11, 2011 (Reuters/Yomiuri). Reuters/Yomiuri 2011

A tsunami (also, but inaccurately, referred to as a Tidal Wave), which is Japanese for "harbor wave," is a massive ocean wave typically caused by an underwater earthquake, a submarine landslide or a coastal landslide. It can cause widespread death and destruction, and even erase entire islands from the surface of the globe. The tsunami that struck South Asia on December 26, 2004, caused the deaths of about 300,000 people.

National Geographic and others have reported that animals protect themselves, such as by scampering to high ground, in anticipation of the tsunami flooding their area.[1].

A tsunami is also used as a popular metaphor to describe a big change in voter or consumer preferences.

Tsunami Wave Height Pacific.jpg

Tsunami Wave Height, Pacific Ocean.


  1. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2005-01-03-tsunami-blog_x.htm