Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated the eastern coast of Japan yesterday in advance of predicted tsunamis. Powerful waves were anticipated, produced by the massive earthquake that struck Chile, on the other side of the Pacific. Japan, always attentive to seismic events, had just been struck by a strong temblor of its own in the Ryukyu Islands, near Okinawa.
Relieved officials of Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a downgraded tsunami alert Sunday evening after the waves were milder than expected. Officials cautioned that tidal swells of up to 6 feet were still possible. NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had cancelled a similar warning for Hawaii, where initial seismic-reaction waves reached about 3 feet tall.
Image (“The Great Wipeout Off Kanagawa, after Hokusai”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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