5 interesting facts about often catastrophic tsunamis

FILE - In this Aug. 29, 2005 file photo, Bryan Vernon and Dorothy Bell are rescued from their rooftop after Hurricane Katrina hit, causing flooding in their New Orleans neighborhood. The most destructive storm in U.S. history and also one of the deadliest, Katrina was a Category 3 storm with estimated maximum winds of 125 mph when it made landfall near Buras, La., on Aug. 29, 2005. Broken levees left most of New Orleans inundated. Damage was estimated at $75 billion, though rebuilding costs have far exceeded the initial damage. Katrina was blamed for around 1,200 deaths. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

In Japanese, the word “tsunami” means “harbor wave.”

Tsunamis are massive waves of water commonly caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption.

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Tsunamis can travel at destructive speeds of around 500 miles an hour. They don’t lose their energy; in fact, they can travel across entire oceans with little energy loss.

If caught by a tsunami wave, don’t swim! Grab a floating object and let the current carry you.

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