It shouldn’t be hard to remember the sheer force that a tsunami can unleash on land. And with the recent quakes in Chile, many parts of the world wonder if another is not too far away. But there’s an important thing about a tsunami that is not often discussed, and that’s how big it has to be to jeopardize your life.
Recently a Twitter user posted a photo of this safety poster which has caused those who saw it to wish it was seen all over the country. You might be able to understand this graphic which shows the water level versus the probability of death without understanding the Japanese, but let’s look at it a little more closely.
30 cm – 0.01% chance of death “A healthy adult can manage to stand. It’s difficult to walk.”
This might seem odd to imagine a one foot wave as a tsunami, but tsunamis and the waves you find at windy day on the beach are different in nature. The poster is not referring to wave heights but to the rise in water level.
Although it’s simply a water level, the force of the flowing water beneath is intense. Luckily, at only 30 cm able-bodied adults should be alright and able to move about.
50cm – 4.8% chance of death “Cars and containers float. You can remain standing if you hang onto something.”
Even at 50 cm, you still have a good shot at survival, but now we start to see some more extensive damage to property. At this point you might be thinking tsunamis aren’t all that dangerous, but things are about to escalate quickly.
70 cm – 71.1% chance of death “The force of water above the knees gets stronger. Even a healthy adult would get swept away.”
It would seem that the height of your knees plays a crucial role in surviving a tsunami. Once the water level rises above them somewhere around 70 cm, your chances of dying increase 13 fold.
100 cm – 100% chance of death “You cannot stand. You’ll be hit by floating debris. The probability of death is high.”
With the water just a little over your waist, your chance of survival drops to zero. It appears that even if you were to somehow manage to withstand the massive currents of the water you’d likely be hit by something else flowing within it.
As the person who originally tweeted this image said, “this is for all you guys who underestimate a 1-meter tsunami.” Many netizens agreed saying, “I did underestimate the tsunami. It’s nothing to mess with” and “I thought I was going to die when one flooded my area. It’s dangerous to think lightly of the water.”
The main point of the poster is not just to take tsunamis more seriously but to also understand how serious the warnings are if they come to your area. If someone’s telling you to leave immediately, err on the side of caution and do so.
Source: Twitter via Hamusoku
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