FOR KIDS: Ahead of the wave
Scientists are working to predict — and tame — the tsunamis that can threaten some coastal communities
Web edition: February 21, 2013
Water pours ashore as a tsunami strikes the east coast of Japan on March 11, 2011.
Credit: Mainichi Shimbun/Reuters
Tsunamis strike coastal regions around the world about 10 times every year. The first of this year occurred on February 6, after an earthquake shook the seafloor off the Solomon Islands. The quake unleashed a tsunami that killed at least five people. A far bigger one struck Japan in 2011. Within minutes it destroyed cities and ultimately killed about 16,000 people.
There’s no stopping a tsunami. Still, there are ways to limit its impact. In fact, some scientists are designing structures to dampen a tsunami’s destruction.