tsunami n : a huge destructive wave (especially one caused by an earthquake)
A series of tsunamis battered the eastern coast of India today, causing massive destruction and loss of lives. They were the effect of an earthquake whose epicenter was mostly in the sea, off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
My uncle was a radio office with the SCI and he had seen a number of tsunamis during his career. He described them as gigantic walls of water, travelling towards the shore. Extremely quiet when they travel (in the high seas), tsunamis usually pass through ships without causing much damage (apart from watering the whole place, if that's the right term), they are extremely destructive when they hit the coast.
Lots of people went missing today, lots of them lost their lives, lots more rendered homeless. I'm quite thankful that it was a Sunday morning when the waves hit Marina beach in Madras....I can't imagine the death toll if this had happened at 1700 on a Sunday evening. People elsewhere weren't so fortunate.
I guess this is nature's way of saying "Oh Hi there! I'm still alive & kicking...". Sad that so many lives are lost in the process.