There was one fatality of tsunami in the US that was triggered by the big earthquake in Japan. He waited to photograph the arrival of of the tsunami which was expected to strike in the US Coastal areas.
My niece and her family lives in Hawaii where all coastal areas were closed after the tsunami alert.
My grandma who experienced tsunami (they called it tidal wave) said that they had but a few minutes to tie themselves in the coconut trees before it struck.
What was the sign they saw? The coastal area where they lived was a high risk to tsunami so the American
company which owned the lumber concession built a wall of big timbers along the coastal lines of the island. That day, they saw these timbers which were supposed to be under water. The water had receded.
This is from William Sherman Daily. Tuesday, December 28th, 2004
Five to 10 minutes before it strikes, a tsunami usually gives a powerful warning that's hard to miss from the shore. It's not a rolling wave coming in, but the reverse - all the water in view going out to sea in the most massive and powerful undertow imaginable. "If you're standing on the beach, the water can recede all the way out to the horizon," said Brian Yanagi, Hawaii's program specialist for earthquakes and tsunamis. "Our biggest worry is for surfers, swimmers and Boogie Boarders because that giant undertow starts quickly and moves out at about 30 mph, pulling everything down beneath the surface. "If you're standing in waist-high water or even less, it will pull you out and down and kill you," he said. Those on the shore have 10 minutes to reach high ground before the tsunami waves - actually walls of tumbling water - strike. On April 1, 1946, before a tsunami struck the town of Hilo on the eastern shore of Hawaii island, the town's entire mile-wide harbor drained into the ocean. "People came rushing down to see what happened, there were fish flopping around on the ground - and then the wave hit," said Ray Novell, spokesman for Hawaii's Civil Defense Department. More than 150 werekilled in that incident. That first killer wave is just the beginning of the tsunami. The big damage is caused by the third, fourth or fifth wave, according to Yanagi. An undersea earthquake causes seismic shocks that produce numerous waves, each more powerful than the previous one in the cycle of massive undertows and debris gathered up and into the incoming waves, Yanagi said. A tsunami can last from 30 minutes to 10 hours .
I remember a story I read when I was still pasaway brat. It was about a rich landowner who was regarded to be selfish by the people in the village. He rarely went out and socialized with them.
One day, they saw the old man on a higher ground level. He was torching the rice which were ripe for harvest. The people thought that the old man became crazy so they went up to him to stop him from burning the whole farm.
The old man pointed to them the ocean. A tsunami struck. It was only then they realized that the old man sacrificed his harvest to save them from the tidal waves that wrecked their village.