How to write an essay on tsunamis

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How to write an essay on tsunamis
Explain the destructive power of tsunamis in your essay. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

An essay on tsunamis will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic, grab the reader's attention and demonstrate that you have at least basic essay-writing skills. An essay about tsunamis is likely to be factual rather than one which discusses opposing viewpoints. You could write about the history of tsunamis, the science behind them, the impact of recent tsunamis, or use a combination of all of these approaches.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Start your essay referring to the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred in December 2004. This was the most memorable tsunami in living memory, killing over 150,000 people. Include some facts in your introduction about the casualties, the levels of destruction and the countries that were affected.

  2. 2

    Include further details about the causes of tsunamis in the body of your essay. Explain that the word originates from Japan where tsunamis have been common and include some facts about why they happen. Tsunamis are a series of waves generated by earthquakes. They can be lengthy and are able to travel great distances at speed before wreaking havoc inland. Mention previous tsunamis such as the one that hit the coast of Japan in 1700 after an earthquake of magnitude 9 in the Pacific.

  3. 3

    Talk about the technology in place to provide warnings about tsunamis. Discuss the Pacific Tsunami Warning System, an initiative supported by 26 nations at its headquarters in Hawaii. You can also mention some of the lessons learned from the 2004 tsunami. Countries affected have since begun to repair coral reefs and mangrove forests that had been neglected but act as natural barriers.

  4. 4

    End with a positive conclusion. Tsunamis are forces of nature and cannot be prevented. However, scientists are continuing to research ways to predict tsunamis earlier and to build coastal defences against them. Communities destroyed in 2004 have gradually rebuilt and there have been instances, for example in Indonesia, where the tsunami led to ethnic and political conflicts being put to one side whilst people concentrated on rebuilding their lives.

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