After the initial wave hits land, a large wall of water follows closely behind it. The water slams into the land, then immediately begins to recede, taking many objects on land with it.
A tsunami is a powerful wave of water that is caused by a seismic event, such as an earthquake. The size of the tsunami directly relates to the size of the earthquake. Tsunamis can be large and strong enough to destroy homes and large buildings. They commonly destroy boats, cars, roads, trees and other objects on land.
Although tsunami warning systems are in place that give people a chance to get out of the way of an approaching tsunami, those in underdeveloped countries still suffer death and destruction when a tsunami comes their way.