Another Tsunami warning has been given out. At 5.15 a.m, 7 April 2010, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake has hit Sumatera. The wounds from the 2004 fateful event was healing well but the scar is still stinging. Immediately countries in the surrounding region was put on high alert. Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore were quick to announce it. Beware of Tsunami!
It sounds like the name of monster that Ultraman has to fight to save the city, but how many of us really know what is it? By the way Tsunami (pronounced soo-NAH-mee) actually means “harbour waves” in Japanese.
I first learnt the word back in 1995. I remembered clearly as my dad had bought me one of my favorite books when I was a child. A book on general facts. “What is a tsunami?” was question No. 68 OMG I REMEMBER IT STILL! on a long list of quizzes that I would pester my friends to answer.
“A massive wave generated by an earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption in the sea.” Not bad considering I was 10 years old at that time. Ah the force of the geek is in me.
The next opinion is of my own and I do apologies if any one takes offence. Not meant to be that way. So here goes.
One of my theory as to why there were so many lives lost on that ill fated day in 2004 was that they were not prepared. The people had no idea what it was other than another cool huge wave that’ll break as it approaches land. So instead of heading for the hills, it became a magnate where people literally line the shores to ohh and ahh. Another reason for the major fatality was that it happened so quickly that they had insufficient time to respond.
Unlike nations like Japan who literally came up with the word, they grew up knowing what it was, how does it look like, what to do and the damage it can inflict. They even have a whole warning and support system.
So in writing this piece in my blog I hope to share a little knowledge about Tsunami. Shall we begin boys and girls?
What is Tsunami?
Throw a rock in a pool of water. A tsunami wave in theory is the same as doing just that except that it’s much larger. Normal waves big or small are caused by wind currents. As it approaches the land, standard waves would slow down and break up but tsunamis will slow down and build in height.
Tsunami Warning Signs.
1. You live by the coast and you feel an earthquake lasting more than 15 seconds it MAY come
2. The tide recedes far out in to the sea very quickly at times leaving fishes stranded in the sand. Like low-tide except happening in mere seconds. RUN! This means that the Tsunami is on its way.
3. Some report of the sky or the sea turning black before the impending wave.
I’m sure there are many more signs but I think if you feel an earthquake and if you’re near the sea and the water line recedes dramatically, just get out of there.
The 1st wave is not always the strongest.
What to do now?
1) Get at least 5 km inland and head for higher ground.
2) If you can’t head for a sturdy building and go up. Even to the roof. But bare in mind the building may be swept away depending on the force of the tsunami
3) Not enough time? The trees. Again a sturdy tall tree and climb as high as you can and hold on. You might be stranded there for a few hours or worse the tree may be swept away as well
4) You’re in the waters, grab onto anything that floats and have faith in living.
I think having a pet at home helps as well. Sort of nature’s natural disaster alarms. Many times we have read that, moments before a natural disaster, tsunamis included, animals act strange and agitated. Perhaps their senses are more receptive then ours or maybe it’s their natural survival instinct which brings me to the next part. Pets.
In any natural disasters we grab our family pets included. Properties can be replaced but lives can’t. But sometimes for some twisted fate you can’t bring your pets, never leave them in a cage or leased, particularly during floods. You can imagine the emotional pain when you return to see a member of your family….well I shall not go there.
Sorry if this piece has brought a dark cloud over you sunny day but the fact that you take it serious enough to read till the end shows that you want to be a survivor. May you will live to smile another day =)
Source of information.