tracks the Indian Ocean tsunami as it progresses outward from its
notes how Earth's continental plates can create earthquakes when they
describes how the tsunami developed from an earthquake that occurred at a
subduction zone off the Sumatran coast.
relates how the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii first registered
the earthquake but, due to lack of any tsunami sensor networks in that region,
was unable to know if a tsunami had formed.
recounts through descriptions and animations how the tsunami developed
after the earthquake, how it traveled in the open ocean, and how it amplified
as it neared the shoreline.
interviews survivors in several locations and shows the destruction
caused by the waves.
details the influence of coastal morphology and seabed gradient on the
relates how Pacific Tsunami Warning Center officials were eventually able
to calculate the tsunami's travel time and alert East African embassies of its
recounts other Indonesian tsunamis and points out that some scientists
had predicted catastrophic geological activity in that region.
considers the impact that no tsunami warning system or little tsunami
education had on the outcome of the disaster.
reviews the four main causes of tsunamis—earthquakes, meteor
impacts, volcanic or other explosive eruptions, and above-water and undersea
states that while, by some estimates, tsunamis pose a direct threat to
about one-quarter of the world's population, protection against them remains a
matter of cost and politics.
speculates what could happen if a major earthquake occurred at the
Cascadia subduction zone off the Pacific Northwest coast or if the Cumbre Vieja
volcano in the Canary Islands collapsed into the sea.