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Focusing on the wave that struck Hawaii in1946, Karwoski presents the event from a variety of viewpoints. The destruction of Hilo harbor leads off, citing accounts of victims from the Japanese neighborhood known as Shinmachi, and is followed by the story of the destruction of a school on Laupahoehoe Point. The author describes the cause of this disaster, a 7.8-scale earthquake in the Aleutians, and discusses other significant historic tsunamis. Sidebars add additional information, distinguish between tsunamis and tidal waves, provide more detail on individuals and the phenomenon, present definitions, and describe the causes of tsunamis. The book presents speculation linking the Atlantis legend with tsunamis, describes underwater sculptures exposed by the 2004 tsunami, and concludes with information on warning systems, such as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Very small black-and-white photos enhance the text, touchingly depicting the devastation, for example, with a photo of a floating schoolbook. The bibliography is extensive but there is no index. Overall, this is a solid addition to the material that has appeared since 2004 as it gives a good historical perspective.
—Jeffrey A. FrenchCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.