5 thoughts on “What would happen to a cruise ship if there was ever a major earthquake underwater?

  1. ConcernedCitizen

    The biggest danger caused by an earthquake under the ocean would be a tidal wave or tsunami. Like most waves, they increase in height and intensity as they move into shallower water, so it would depend on where the ship is at the time. In deep water, it would probably just ride out the swell, but if the ship were between the site of the earthquake and the shore, in relatively shallow water, it could be capsized by the wave.

    Shay, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a tidal wave can be triggered by an earthquake. It can be triggered by other causes, such as a storm or an incoming tide funneled into a narrow harbor, but nevertheless, "tidal wave" is a legitimate name for an earthquake-generated wave and in fact is listed as a synonym for "tsunami" in the dictionary:

    Main Entry: tsu·na·mi
    Pronunciation: \(t)su̇-ˈnä-mē\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural tsunamis also tsunami
    Etymology: Japanese, from tsu harbor + nami wave
    Date: 1897
    : a great sea wave produced especially by submarine earth movement or volcanic eruption : tidal wave

    Main Entry: tidal wave
    Function: noun
    Date: 1851
    1: something overwhelming especially in quantity or volume <a tidal wave of tourists>
    2 a: an unusually high sea wave that is triggered especially by an earthquake b: an unusual rise of water alongshore due to strong winds

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  2. Joachin Murrieta

    Nothing at all unless it was in a shallow harbor. The height of even a major tsunami wave in deep water is very small and moves at over 400 mph. Passengers on the ship would probably not even notice it. However, if the ship were in port, things could be much different – obviously as was seen with the major tsunami a few years ago in the S.E. Asia area. Anyone who disagrees with my post is ignorant as to how tsunamis really work.

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  3. Shay

    ConcernCitzen a tidal wave and a tsunami are two different types of waves. To answer the question if the earthquake caused a tsunami and the cruise ship was out to see it wouldn’t notice anything. If the cruise ship was in port and a tsunami hit it would get washed ashore.

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  4. sweden

    I read everyone’s answers but I don’t think a tsunami is the issue here. Underwater earthquakes or often due to volcanic activity and a large whirlpool might be formed toppling the ship.

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