Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under the sea. Out in the depths of the ocean, tsunami waves do not dramatically increase in height. But as the waves travel inland, they build up to higher and higher heights as the depth of the ocean decreases.
The speed of tsunami waves depends on ocean depth rather than the distance from the source of the wave. Tsunami waves may travel as fast as jet planes over deep waters, only slowing down when reaching shallow waters
During a tsunami:
A tsunami can reach our coast in about 20 minutes after an earthquake in our region. In case of a tsunami alarm, do not waste time especially if you are near the coast. Gather your family and climb on the highest location, as far as possible from the coast. Do so very quickly, in a couple of minutes.
After a tsunami:
Do not go out of curiosity to see what has happened in the area where the tsunami has occurred. It can be dangerous still. Inform the authorities where you are after you have managed to establish yourself and your family in a safer area.
What can you do yourself
In the last years, the Meteorological Departments have followed developments regarding tsunamis. In Curacao a tsunami can occur after an earthquake on the seabed. A special committee identifies the location in our region where tsunamis may form. They also try to investigate the impact of a possible tsunami on Curacao and specific risk areas.