Tsunami Facts for Kids

A picture of a Tsunami

This web page contains tsunami facts for kids and is an excellent resource for anyone of any age looking to learn about this deadly natural disaster. Our goal is to provide you with accurate, up to date facts about tsunamis. In addition to facts about tsunamis, we provide additional resources to help you with your research on these massive ocean waves.

The tsunami facts below will help you learn about the power of a tsunami, how a tsunami is generated, how powerful a tsunami can be, past tsunami events and other tsunami related facts. We hope these tsunami facts are interesting and help you learn more about this powerful and deadly natural disaster.

If any of the below tsunami facts are inaccurate, please contact us and let us know.

17 Tsunami Facts for Kids

  1. A tsunami is a natural disaster caused by a series of large waves that can instantly flood a coastal region and cause enormous damage and loss of life.
  2. A tsunami is caused by the rapid displacement of a large amount of water in the ocean or a very large lake.
  3. A massive tsunami, known as a megatsunami can affect multiple continents in a single day.
  4. Tsunamis can be very destructive due to two different force mechanisms.
  5. The first mechanism is the smashing force of water. A tsunami can generate a high wall of water that is traveling at high speed. Tsunami waves can travel between 20 and 500+ miles per hour, depending on how deep of water the tsunamic was generated. This means the wall of water created by a tsunamic can hit objects between 20 and 500+ miles per hour.
  6. The second mechanism is the draining force of water. A tsunamic can bring massive amounts of water many miles inland. All this water will eventually recede back into the ocean. However, as it recedes large amounts of debris are carried with it. This debris can damage buildings and create additional debris.
  7. Tsunamis are created by events, like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and meteorite impacts.
  8. A tsunamic created by the 1883 Krakatoa volcanic eruption had waves up to 150 feet.
  9. A tsunami created by a landslide during the 1958 Lituya Bay earthquake had waves up to 1,720 feet.
  10. A tsunami created by the asteroid impact that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs had waves up to 330 feet.
  11. A tsunami created by the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake had waves up to 100 feet.
  12. The tsunami created by the Sumatra–Andaman earthquake is responsible for one the deadliest natural disaster in recorded human history, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  13. On December 26th, 2004 an undersea earthquake caused 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
  14. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed over 227,000 people in 14 different countries.
  15. The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 created a tsunami that was responsible for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. This nuclear disaster was the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
  16. A warning sign that a tsunami is coming is the drawback of water from the shoreline. A drawback is when the area of a shoreline that is normally underwater, recedes back into the ocean. In the event you witness a drawback of the shoreline, you should seek higher ground immediately.
  17. Another possible, but not confirmed warning sign that a tsunami is coming is the reaction of animals. Some zoologists claim animals can sense subsonic Rayleigh waves. An animal that can sense these subsonic waves would travel in the opposite direction of the noise. There were reports of animals doing this during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Additional Resources on Tsunamis