Indeed, this was a very bad disaster. A tsunami (pronounced sue-nahm-ee) is a series of huge waves that can cause great devastation and loss of life when they strike a coast.
Tsunamis are caused by an underwater earthquake, a volcanic eruption, an sub-marine rockslide, or, more rarely, by an asteroid or meteoroid crashing into in the water from space. Most tsunamis are caused by underwater earthquakes, but not all underwater earthquakes cause tsunamis - an earthquake has to be over about magnitude 6.75 on the Richter scale for it to cause a tsunami. About 90 percent of all tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean.

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