Explaining a Tsunami to your kids
Tsunami news for kids

Are your Kids Asking “Mommy, What’s a Tsunami”? – Tsunami Facts for Kids

by Alicia in Personal

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If your kids are like mine, they are inquisitive.  With the tsunamis all over the news that you may be watching now, your kids may be asking you what a tsunami is.  What do I do when my kids ask questions like this?  I look it up online and SHOW them!

Here are a few great resources for kids that explain what a tsunami is:

FEMA For Kids

A tsunami (pronounced soo-nahm-ee) is a series of huge waves that happen after an undersea disturbance, such as an earthquake or volcano eruption. (Tsunami is from the Japanese word for harbor wave.) The waves travel in all directions from the area of disturbance, much like the ripples that happen after throwing a rock. The waves may travel in the open sea as fast as 450 miles per hour. As the big waves approach shallow waters along the coast they grow to a great height and smash into the shore. They can be as high as 100 feet. They can cause a lot of destruction on the shore. They are sometimes mistakenly called “tidal waves,” but tsunami have nothing to do with the tides.

Tsunami Facts from National Geographic

A tsunami is a series of ocean waves that sends surges of water, sometimes reaching heights of over 100 feet (30.5 meters), onto land. These walls of water can cause widespread destruction when they crash ashore.  These awe-inspiring waves are typically caused by large, undersea earthquakes at tectonic plate boundaries. When the ocean floor at a plate boundary rises or falls suddenly it displaces the water above it and launches the rolling waves that will become a tsunami.

Tsunami Warning Brochure

Hopefully these tsunami resources will help you explain what exactly a tsunami is, to your kids.  While your explaining be sure to remind your kids to say a little prayer for those affected by the earthquake in Japan and the tsunamis.

You can keep up with the latest tsunami news on Twitter (search for Tsunami), CNN.com, and FoxNews.com.

Alicia Hagan, Mom Blog editor

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