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Tuesday, November 6, 2012 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

What is a tsunami?

Tsunamis happen after an earthquake strikes, either near or under the ocean floor. The earthquake displaces a large amount of water. Waves then move inland quickly and powerfully. The first wave is often not the largest. That is usually the third or fourth wave. The waves can be from five minutes to one hour apart. Some of the waves can be huge, causing death and destruction.