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What do you know about tsunamis? Find out by playing this quiz.


This GCSE Geography quiz is about tsunamis. At about a quarter to three in the afternoon of the 11th March 2011, a huge and powerful natural hazard known as a tsunami crossed the coast of Japan and flooded buildings and farmland up 10 km inland. About 16,000 people were known to have died with about 2,500 missing and over 200,000 made homeless. A nuclear power station was damaged and the people living within 20 km of it had to be evacuated to escape the radiation leaks.

All this happened when the fourth largest earthquake in the world (since records began in 1900) occurred a few km off the east coast of Japan - two of the Earth's tectonic plates had suddenly moved about 20 metres.

Tsunamis are caused by large underwater landslips or earthquakes. They travel as a fast-moving wave or series of waves through a sea or ocean and are hardly noticeable in deep water.

A tsunami can be formed by:
nuclear explosions
large shoals of fish
underwater earthquakes
all of the above
They can also be formed by landslides that occur underwater or at the edge of a sea or ocean
A tsunami is:
a type of Chinese fish
any wave used by surfers
a powerful wave
an instrument used to measure the temperature of the oceans
Tsunamis can travel for thousands of kilometres without losing much of their destructive power
In 1607, many people and their livestock living in coastal areas around the Bristol Channel were killed by a sudden flood. Eyewitness reports from survivors describe a wall of water rushing across the countryside for as far as they could see. It moved faster than people could run. The area remained under water for almost two weeks. Geographers used to think that this was a storm surge but more recently it is thought to have been a tsunami. What other observation would have confirmed the tsunami theory?
Boats bobbing up and down on the sea
Thunder and lightning at the same time as the wave came onto land
They would have seen a huge wave coming across the sea as the tsunami approached
The sea pulled back a long way from the shore just before the wave came onto the land
The theory is that an earthquake or landslide under the sea south of Ireland could have caused it but there is no real proof for this
Why might there be greater loss of life when a tsunami hits an LEDC?
The country needs foreign aid before it can begin any short-term responses to the tsunami
The country needs foreign aid before it can begin any long-term responses to the tsunami
The government of an LEDC is not interested in helping the general population
The population of poorer countries is much greater than in MEDCs
Within a few days after the tsunami, diseases like cholera can become established and spread. People have no clean drinking water so become dehydrated and ill, they have no shelter and receive no medical treatment and may die from hypothermia or injuries
The main primary effect of a tsunami is:
Fire and famine are secondary effects and a tsunami does not cause a drought
When a tsunami reaches shallower water, which of the following is true?
The height of the wave increases as it slows down
The tsunami speeds up
The height of the wave decreases
It is stopped by the beach
When it comes ashore, the height of the tsunami depends on the energy released during the earthquake or landslide that caused it
Which of the following is a long-term response to a tsunami?
Rebuilding schools
Putting out fires
Making a news report about the tsunami
All of the above
There are many more examples of long-term responses like cleaning up the horrendous mess left after a tsunami, repairing buildings, roads and railways and developing better early-warning systems
Which of the following is a feature of a tsunami?
The water at the edge of the sea pulls back from the coast
Because of their shape, a tsunami always looks dark green
The top of a tsunami is always at least 10 metres higher than the surrounding sea water
All of the above
Tsunamis are difficult to spot out in deep sea or deep ocean areas because the top of the wave is rarely more than a few metres high
Which of the following is a short-term response to a tsunami?
Rescuing stranded people
Setting up beds in a sports hall so that survivors have somewhere to sleep
Putting out fires
All of the above
In LEDCs, this is much more difficult and often takes several days for aid to arrive from MEDCs
Which of the following could be an economic long-term effect of a tsunami?
Trees are replanted
Temporary housing is provided for local communities
Rubbish is cleared from farmland
Tourists stay away from affected areas
Replanting trees and clearing rubbish are environmental responses, temporary housing does cost money but is classed as a social response. Tourists staying away from the area is an economic effect as it would affect the local (and possibly the national) economy
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Earthquakes and tsunami

Author:  Kev Woodward

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