Tsunamis are a series of very long waves generated by any rapid,
large-scale disturbance of the sea. Most are generated by
sea floor displacements from large undersea earthquakes. Tsunamis
can cause great destruction and loss of life within minutes
on shores near their source, and some tsunamis can cause
destruction within hours across an entire ocean basin.
Most tsunamis occur in the Pacific region but they are known to happen in every ocean and sea. Although infrequent, tsunamis are a significant natural hazard with great destructive potential. They can only be dealt with effectively through programs of warning, mitigation, and education.