A series of very large ocean waves which are caused by large disturbances such as an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption, or meteorite impacts from above. Tsunami waves are of extremely long length and period and they move outwards, away from their source. This allows time for the tsunami to grow in wave height.  As a tsunami crosses a deep ocean, the length from crest to crest may be as much as 150 km but the height may be less than a metre. Tsunami waves may therefore be unnoticed by ships or from the air, reaching speeds up to 1000 km per hour. 

Image: Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2004, Don Paterson

Recent Disasters in this Category


To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 10.2.0 or greater is installed.

Get Adobe Flash Player
Name Category Location Date
Tsunami Tsunami - Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga 2009 Tsunami Outside Australia 29/09/2009 view resource
Tsunami Tsunami - Indian Ocean 2004 Tsunami Outside Australia 26/12/2004 view resource
Related Events Icon

Related Events

(2 entries)
Research Icon


(40 entries)
Title Author Date Format Type
A Document Australian Emergency Manual 46: Tsunami Emergency Planning in Australia Attorney-General's Department 2010 link Manuals & Handbooks view resource
A Document Australian tsunami warning system Bureau of Meteorology 2012 link Websites view resource
A Document Australia's response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade 2006 link Reports view resource
A Document Australia's Response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami: Report for the Period Ending 30 June 2005 Australian Government - Aus Aid 2005 link Reports view resource
A Document Baker library collection of Asian tsunami 2004 information Harvard University 2012 link Online Repositories view resource
A Briefing Pack Briefing pack: Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004 Australian Emergency Management Insitute 2004 application/pdf Briefing Packs view resource
A Document Cairns tsunami evacuation guide Cairns Regional Council 2007 link Plans & Guidelines view resource
A Document Clean or corrupt: tsunami aid in Aceh James E 2006 link Research Papers view resource
A Document Confronting an unfamiliar hazard: Tsunami preparedness in Tasmania Paton D, Frandsen M, Johnston, D 2010 link Journal articles view resource
A Document December 26, 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami McAneney J, Risk Frontiers, Vol 4, no 3, pp 1-3 2005 link Journal articles view resource
A Document Disasters, leadership and rebuilding: tough lessons from Japan and the U.S. Orts E, Spigonardo J 2013 link Reports view resource
A Document Emergency management of tsunami in New South Wales and the response to the Solomon Islands tsunami April 2nd 2007 Gissing A, Webb R, Hanslow D 2008 link Journal articles view resource
A Document Evaluation and Strengthening of Early Warning Systems in Countries Affected by the 26 December 2004 Tsunami Pattie DC, Dannenmann S & Hagiwara Y 2008 link Reports view resource
A Document Exercise Ausnami Attorney-General's Department 2009 link Reports view resource
A Document How people responded to the April 2007 tsunami warning in Cairns and Townsville King D 2008 link Journal articles view resource