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Descriptive Statistics

Practice Descriptive Statistics
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Credit: Michael L. Bak
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fishing_boat_tossed_ashore_in_Banda_Aceh_after_2004_tsunami_DD-SD-06-07370.JPEG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

This fishing boat was tossed ashore during a tsunami in South Asia in 2004. This particular tsunami has been called the worst natural disaster in living memory.

Why It Matters

  • Tsunamis are enormous ocean waves that may cause tremendous destruction and huge numbers of deaths. Do you know what causes tsunamis? Would you know if a tsunami was coming?
  • Watch this video of one man’s moving account of how he survived the 2004 South Asian tsunami:


Can You Apply It?

At the links below, learn more about tsunamis, including the 2004 South Asian tsunami. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. Use descriptive statistics to summarize the impact of the 2004 South Asian tsunami. Based on data in the second link above, calculate the range and the average of the following values: losses and damages (in U.S. dollars) per country, number of people dead or missing per country, and number of displaced people per country.
  2. How do tsunamis differ from regular ocean waves? Contrast their causes and wave properties.
  3. Why does a tsunami become dangerous only when it approaches shore?
  4. The man named David in the video above noticed something that should have warned him a tsunami was coming. What was it?
  5. Decide whether this statement is true or false and then explain why: After a tsunami wave strikes the shore and the water has receded, people are no longer in danger.

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