"Generally, coastal hazards can be defined as episodic or chronic destructive natural system events that affect coastal areas. A variety of such events regularly threaten the nation's coastal inhabitants. Severe meteorological events such as hurricanes, tropical cyclones and northeasters often bring high winds, storm surges, flooding and shoreline erosion that are particularly damaging to coastal areas. Other hazards, while not exclusively coastal, can pose special threats to coastal locations. For example, earthquakes are more likely to incur the catastrophic impacts of liquifaction in some coastal areas due to the unique geologic features of the coasts. Tsunamis, with their potentially devastating floods, are uniquely coastal events resulting from offshore earthquakes or volcanic activity. In addition to these special hazards, many coastal locations are subjected to the more widespread hazards that can have an impact on inland areas, such as riverine flooding, landslides, wildfires and tornadoes."
NOAA National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/