4. Where do tsunamis occur?

The Pacific is by far the most active tsunami zone, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, www.noaa.gov). But tsunamis have been generated in other bodies of water, including the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. North Atlantic tsunamis included the tsunami associated with the 1775 Lisbon earthquake that killed as many as 60,000 people in Portugal, Spain, and North Africa. This quake caused a tsunami as high as 7 meters in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean has been hit by 37 verified tsunamis since 1498. Some were generated locally and others were the result of events far away, such as the earthquake near Portugal. The combined death toll from these Caribbean tsunamis is about 9,500.

The Mediterranean, Black and Red Seas are the second most common tsunami source region after the Pacific with 98 observed tsunamis. Tsunami warning systems in this region must deal with local tsunamis that will hit coasts within a few minutes. Perhaps the most famous tsunami, though not well verified, involved the disappearance of the island of Santorini in 1400 BC that is estimated to have caused 100,000 deaths.

The devastating mega thrust earthquake (Indonesia/ Nicobar/ Andaman/ Sumatra Earthquake) of December 26, 2004, occurred on Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 00:58:53 GMT (7:58:53 AM local time at epicenter) with Mw=9.0 NEIC Epicenter Latitude 3.32 North, Longitude 95.85 East (USGS) or 3.09N, 94.26E southwest Banda Aceh in Northern Sumatra (Borrero, 2005). The earthquake has also triggered giant tsunami and the tsunami waves that propagated throughout the Indian Ocean and have caused extreme inundation and extensive damage, loss of property and life along the coasts of 12 surrounding counties in the Indian Ocean. The loss of lives has also been extended to the people from totally 27 countries from other parts of the world. (www.yalciner.metu.edu.tr/malaysia).

The sea state at 5, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, 360, 420, 480, 600 minutes in Indian Ocean (www.yalciner.metu.edu.tr/malaysia)