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Another type of tsunami that many people have not heard of is called a slow tsunami. This happens when a storm surge of water builds up more slowly out at sea, and I don't mean just a large wave. We are talking whole seas of water threatening the coastlines of...

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Another type of tsunami that many people have not heard of is called a slow tsunami. This happens when a storm surge of water builds up more slowly out at sea, and I don't mean just a large wave. We are talking whole seas of water threatening the coastlines of low lying countries. Examples of this phenomenon would be the countries of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Recently, the flooding was so bad that entire towns were washed away but the world response was not as swift or caring as during the earthquake tsunami that hit on Boxing Day, maybe due to the slower, more creeping effect.

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Tsunamis and tidal waves are alike in many ways. The real difference between a tsunami and a tidal wave depends on their formation.

Tidal waves are impacted by the atmosphere. There are many factors that correlate between the sun, moon, and Earth that can cause a disturbance in the ocean, the tides. Tidal waves also have regional preferences. They are more likely to strike in lower latitudes and also follow the ocean currents.

Tsunamis are different in that they are caused by a disturbance from the floor of the ocean. This is usually due to an earthquake that occurred undderwater or even an underwater landslide. Tsunamis can strike anywhere, it just depends on where the underwater event (earthquake or landslide) occurred. They also follow the ocean currents.

They each carry with them the potential of causing mass destruction and devastation. They are both very dangerous.

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A tsunami is a tidal wave but "tidal wave" is an American slang usage. Tsunami's are huge sheets/waves of water that originate because of some seismic disturbance like earthquakes and volcanoes. When these events occur it causes the floor of the ocean to shift. Huge waves traveling very fast (up to 500 mph) rise from the ocean floor and produce vertical waves.

These huge waves travel vast distances because of their speed. They can become quite large, some expanding miles in length. When they reach land massive flooding occurs from the huge surge of water.  

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A tsunami is certainly a type of tidal wave; it is actually a series of waves (also known as a tsunami wave train) caused by the displacement of a large amount of water. A Japanese word that means "harbor wave," tsunamis are most often found in the vicinity of Japan, where nearly 200 have been recorded. Tsunamis are generally caused by disturbances either above or below water, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides or underwater explosions (such as a nuclear detonation). Tsunamis are highly dangerous since the water speed is faster than humans can move or react. The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 killed more than 200,000 people; a recent Tsunami that reached Hawaii was far less serious.

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The term "tidal wave" is often used in American English as a popular term for a tsunami.  So, in that sense, a tsunami is a tidal wave.  However, a tsunami has nothing to do with the tides so it is not a true tidal wave in the sense that a tidal bore or tidal surge would be.

Tsunamis are waves that are caused by seismic events.  You tend to have tsunamis after events such as earthquakes or even volcanic eruptions.  The shaking of the earth starts the water in motion and this can lead to huge waves.  However, these waves have nothing to do with tides.

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