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29 Jul 2016

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:
Geography, History, Science

Where can I find information about tsunami?

LEVEL: Primary / Intermediate

Tsunami are powerful, fast-moving waves which can cause enormous damage when they hit land. They can be caused by a variety of different natural events, and are considered a natural disaster.
A good place to start is DK FindOut!, an online encyclopedia that has lots of info on a huge range of topics. Try typing 'tsunami' in the search bar to find their article on tsunamiAnother good site for the basic facts is the New Zealand site, Science Kids which has a page on tsunami facts.
For more detail, have a look at the Science Learning site. Down the bottom you can see that this site is backed by the New Zealand government, so we can trust the info on it. Just type 'tsunami' in the search box at the top and choose from the list of results. If you want to know why you can't surf a tsunami, this site will tell you! It also has a link to an excellent Tsunami Basics video from the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) - scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it. 
Another great New Zealand resource is the Get Ready Get Thru website. This is a government site run by New Zealand Civil Defence that has all sorts of information on disaster readiness for New Zealanders. Check out the page on tsunami for more info on what to do during a tsunami. You can also check out the New Zealand Red Cross website for more information on disaster readiness.
Lots of countries have organisations to help cope with disasters. The Australian Emergency Management site hosts Tsunami: The Ultimate Guide which is a fantastic presentation with images and videos explaining exactly how the waves are formed, the damage they cause and how to prepare for tsunami.

HOT TIP: We like sites that are from government or other reputable organisations, because we can trust the information. You can tell these sites by their web address – they have .gov, .edu or .org in their address.

HowStuffWorks is a really good website for finding out how all sorts of things work. Often the articles we find will go over multiple pages, so we need to click through them to find more info. We can learn more about who runs the website by reading the About page. If you type "tsunami" in the search box at the top you will find How Tsunamis Work, which covers how tsunami are formed and the damage they do. Have a look at page 6 for info about the 2004 Tsunami and 2011 Japan Tsunami.
For more information, try checking out EPIC. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this.
HOT TIP: To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
Once you are logged in:
  1. Choose Britannica School
  2. Choose 'Primary' or 'Middle' by mousing over them. A search box will appear
  3. Type your keywords in the search box - start with a simple one like 'tsunami'
  4. You can have a look at results from different levels - at the top click on level 1, level 2, and level 3.

Also check out ManyAnswers for information about Tsunami in New Zealand, or some of our other entries on disasters.

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