Just as people thought the world is completely in their hands, a sudden twist of events will occur and prove them wrong. In as much as they endeavor to win over everything, nature strikes back, making them realize how weak they actually are compared to the world where they live in.It was one morning of 2004, just a day after Christmas when the coasts of Southern Thailand was swept down by several tall waves of water, killing 5395 people, with 2932 declared missing (Rigg, Law, Tan-Mullins, & Grundy-Warr, 2005, p.374). The incident shocked the world with the damages it left and the number of lives it took. The culprit being pointed at for this untimely disaster is some complex natural movements down under – and the calamity itself is technically termed as tsunami. The latter is a “Japanese word meaning, “harbor wave,”… a class of abnormal sea wave that can cause catastrophic damage when it hits a coastline” (“Tsunami,” 2006). There are several natural events that account for this phenomenon such as “earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides beneath the ocean, or an asteroid striking the earth” (“Tsunami”, 2007). All these can be considered as calamities themselves; however, once they result to tsunami, one can expect a greater disaster.
[...] Aside from this, as much as possible, it is also essential to predict when tsunami will likely strike. This is made possible through the establishment of early warning systems and research centers such as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and International Tsunami Information Center, as identified in Encarta encyclopedia 2006). Thirdly, for disasters that can occur anytime, it is important that people develop attitudes that will help them cope with the situation and this is done through what Smith (2004) termed as adaption that is, “'non-structural' responses promote changes in human behavior towards hazards (adjusting people to damaging events)”. [...]
[...] However, when the tsunami, or the waves for this matter, gets to the shallow area into the shore, its speed decreases and the waves just go higher 2006). Finally, Torrence and Grattan stated that by the time the tsunami reaches the coast, its speed is most probably 1-15m per second already (2002). Moreover, although tsunami resembles the characteristics of storm surges, it should be differentiated from such. The latter domes of water that rise underneath hurricanes or cyclones and cause extensive coastal flooding when the storms reach land” (“Tsunami, 2006). [...]
[...] Also, in 1908, a tsunami hit the Sicilian city of Messina, killing 1,500 people (“Major Tsunami” p.14). Subsequently, less than a century later, another incident happened in Aitape, one evening of July 1998, leaving an estimated figure of 1,700 to 2,200 casualties (Torrence & Grattan p.35). The latest and the most controversial, as mentioned earlier, is what happened in December in Thailand and bordering countries, in which the tsunami originated from Indian Ocean. Aside from these, a lot more tsunami occurrences were recorded throughout the history. [...]
[...] As stated in Encarta, “just a cubic yard of water, for example, weighs about one (2006) already, therefore, the damage, particularly of coastal settlements is just almost unimaginable. To illustrate, the figure below shows the damage suffered by the Thailand's Phi Island after a tsunami hits in 2004. Source: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia As what can be seen in the picture, the volume of water is huge enough to completely submerge the nearby residences. What is more, the force of the wave is sufficiently strong not only to destroy the houses but also to uproot the trees in the coast. [...]
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