8. Can tsunamis be predicted?

Given our current inability to forecast earthquakes and landslides (see also earthquakes & landslides modules) and the very limited predictive capacity to forecast volcanic eruptions (see module on volcanoes), it is virtually impossible to forecast tsunamis at this time.

However, by looking at past tsunamis, scientists know where tsunamis are most likely to be generated and potential impact areas. These potential impact areas are associated to geologically active zones that bear earthquake and volcano hazards. But not every earthquake, volcanic eruption or landslides necessarily trigger tsunamis. Past tsunami height measurements are also useful in predicting future tsunami impact and flooding limits in specific coastal locations and communities.