Say that again, Tsunami

Marina Bridge.jpg
[Sea water flowing in Chennai roads. Pic: hindu.com]

So it happened and it happened just after all the newspapers and weeklies have bragged about the year that was. The most devastating incident happened during the last week of the year making people denounce new year celebration.

At 7:30 am on the Sun TV, it was officially announced that there was an earth quake at Chennai. From then on it was a roller coaster ride. People were seen on the streets talking and talking about the Chennai’s second trembling earthquake. I switched to the sunday channel programs as usual. It was at 9:50 am when I recieved an SMS from my friend who said the sea water was flowing into the city and I thought it was just overstatement. And only when the Flash News started to roll, I believed. The first thing that stuck was the summer flick, The day after tomorrow.

At 10:30 am when I drafted the previous post, I had no clue that there will be such a huge impact. A reporter said Tsunami hits chennai on the NDTV news channel. Tsunami, what?. And Tsunami became the most used word of the year atleast here in Chennai/Tamil Nadu. I initally thought they had just a named the tremor attack like naming tornados in the US. I was completely wrong.

At 3:00 pm when I was at the Besant Nagar beach, there were around 3,000 people standing in the shores and watching the sea. The Earthquake and Tsunami at Chennai had taken thousands of lifes into the sea and it looked as peaceful as ever.

Over the Adayar bridge the water level has doubled, a sight that I have never personally seen before on that bridge. When I pulled my bike over the bridge, I could see a batches of huts that were half submerged in the water flow.

This is probably the most ravaging incident that hit Chennai and Tamil Nadu in the whole in my lifetime and as said in the previous post, this incident would be talked, blogged and narrated a thousand times in the years to come.

Intestingly Writer Sujatha‘s short story called Nagar Vallam[City Round-up] talks about a group of people visiting Chennai Triplicane on a boat because part of Chennai city is submerged over by the tidal waves. The come there by a boat to see the places where their fore-fathers lived. The story appeared on the Sci-Fi series written by Sujatha in Kalki weekly.

Here’s is what wiki says about the Killer Tsunami

A tsunami (from Japanese ?? meaning wave in port) is one or a series of ocean surface waves that occur after a large earthquake (having a vertical component of movement), seaquake, volcanic activity, slumps, or meteorite impacts in or near the sea.

In deep water, the energy of a tsunami is constant, a function of its height and speed. Thus, as the wave approaches land, its height increases while its speed decreases. A tsunami has a very long wave length (in the order of 100 km), which makes it act as a shallow-water wave. While in deep water a person at the surface of the water would probably not notice, the wave can increase to a height of 30 m and more as it approaches the coastline.

Tsunami prediction remains an imperfect science. Although the epicenter of a large underwater quake and the probable tsunami arrival times can be quickly calculated, it is almost always impossible to know whether massive underwater ground shifts have occurred, resulting in tsunami waves.

Here is more on 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.