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A tsunami (pronounced “soo-nahm'ee”) is a series of waves generated by an undersea disturbance such as an earthquake. From the area of the disturbance, the waves will travel outward in all directions, much like the ripples caused by throwing a rock into a pond.

picture of a tsunami wave
The word Tsunami is represented by two Japanese characters, the top character, "tsu," means harbor, while the bottom character, "nami," means "wave."


NOAA's National Weather Service operates Tsunami Warning Centers
in Alaska and Hawaii. You can read about these programs in depth by visiting their websites.


Visit The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

Visit The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Frequently Asked Questions about tsunamis.

What is being done to prepare coastal communities for tsunamis?
tsunamiready logo
"TsunamiReady" is a National Weather Service (NWS) initiative that promotes tsunami hazard preparedness as an active collaboration among Federal, state and local emergency management agencies, the public, and the NWS tsunami warning system. This collaboration supports better and more consistent tsunami awareness and mitigation efforts among communities at risk. The TsunamiReady program is based on the NWS StormReady model.

Click here for TsunamiReady Program information.

tsunami evacuation sign

Be tsunami tsmart.

Tsunami Preparedness Brochures

TsunamiReady Brochure
Great Wave
Tsunami the Great Waves
Tsunami Safety Advice
Tsunami and Earthquake Statistics
TsunamiReady Reference Card
NOAA Weather Radio Flyer
Are You Ready for the Next Big Earthquake in Alaska?
Surviving a Tsunami - Lessons from Chile, Hawaii, and Japan

Informational Links Tsunami webpage
From NWS Philadelphia - includes info about east coast threats.
From NWS Tampa - Florida Tsunamis Presentation (5.13 MB)
International Tsunami Information Center
US Plan for Improved Tsunami Detection and Warning System
Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis
From PMEL: Tsunami Event - 26 December 2004
Earthquake & Tsunami Data - GIS Internet Map Server
The Tsunami Society
2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Animation (3.38 MB)
NOAA Backgrounder on Tsunamis
A Tsunami Glossary
FEMA's Tsunami Page for Kids
The Physics of Tsunamis
FEMA's Tsunami Fact Sheet
Red Cross Tsunami Safety FAQs & Tips
About Caribbean Tsunamis.
From FIT's Dr. George Maul... "Wanted: Tsunami Alerts"



National Weather Service
Southern Region Headquarters
819 Taylor Street, Room 10A26
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Page last modified: May 26, 2005
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