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A tsunami is a series of large ocean waves caused by a sudden and significant disturbance in the sea floor. This disturbance is typically triggered by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, or, less commonly, by the impact of a meteorite.

When an event like an earthquake occurs beneath the ocean floor, it can displace a large volume of water, creating a series of waves that radiate outward from the epicenter. These waves can travel across entire ocean basins at speeds of hundreds of kilometers per hour, slowing down as they approach shallow coastal waters. While at sea, tsunamis are typically only a few feet high and may not be noticeable to ships.

However, as a tsunami approaches the coastline and the ocean floor becomes shallower, the waves slow down and begin to pile up, causing them to grow taller and more powerful. When they finally reach shore, tsunamis can unleash their full force, resulting in devastating flooding and destruction of coastal communities.

The impacts of tsunamis can be catastrophic, with waves reaching heights of tens of meters in extreme cases. They can cause widespread destruction of buildings and infrastructure, as well as significant loss of life. The force of the water can also sweep away debris, vehicles, and even large ships, further adding to the destruction.

Efforts to mitigate the impacts of tsunamis include early warning systems, coastal planning and zoning regulations, and education and preparedness programs for communities at risk. These measures aim to provide timely warnings and enable residents to evacuate to higher ground before a tsunami strikes, reducing the loss of life and property damage.

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