A tsunami is a series of water waves that is caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, such as an ocean. Due to the immense volumes of water and energy involved, tsunamis can devastate coastal regions. Casualties can be high because the waves move faster than humans can run.

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other underwater explosions, landslides and other mass movements above or below water all have the potential to generate a tsunami.

Some meteorological conditions, such as deep depressions that cause tropical cyclones, can generate a storm surge, which can raise tides several meters above normal levels. The displacement comes from low atmospheric pressure within the centre of the depression. As these storm surges reach shore, they may resemble (though are not) tsunamis, inundating vast areas of land. Such a storm surge inundated Burma (Myanmar) in May 2008.

Figure: Tsunami [Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsunami]

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