National Geographic magazine has many images of the wreckage caused by tsunamis around the world. Its tsunami photo gallery includes photographs of the disasters in Sri Lanka, Chile and the Indian Ocean.
A tsunami is an unusually large sea wave caused by a major disturbance, such as an earthquake or landslide. The word tsunami is derived from the Japanese words "tsu," meaning harbor, and "nami," meaning wave. According to Dictionary.com, tsunamis are often confused with tidal waves or typhoons. In a research project conducted by students at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, researchers explained how tsunamis differ from tidal waves and what particular circumstances can cause a tsunami to occur. Although volcanoes and landslides are powerful triggers that set off the seismic waves which eventually result in a tsunami, earthquakes are the cause for the vast majority of tsunamis. When an earthquake happens, a ripple effect happens in the water. As the ripples increase, they reach dangerous speeds. By the time they reach the shore, devastation and damage occurs due to the impact of the water and the floating debris that comes with it. As The Telegraph powerfully depicted, one of the most disastrous tsunamis in recent history began with the earthquake in Japan in March 2011.