On April 1, 1946, shortly after sunrise, the town of Hilo on the island of Hawai'i was devastated by a series of giant waves. Traveling 2,300 miles from the Aleutian Islands in less than five hours, the waves struck without warning and claimed 159 lives. Fourteen years later, on May 22, 1960, a massive earthquake occurred off of the coast of Chile. The earthquake generated giant waves that sped across the Pacific at 442 miles per hour, reaching Hilo in just fifteen hours. The first wave to hit the town was a modest four feet higher than normal, the second nine feet. Before the third wave could arrive, a tidal phenomenon known as a bore smashed into the Hilo bayfront, with thirty-five foot waves that wrenched buildings off their foundations. That day several city blocks were swept clean of all structures and 61 people died.
The first edition of Tsunami!, published in 1988, provided readers with a complete examination of the tsunami phenomenon in Hawai'i. This second edition adds many eyewitness accounts of the tsunamis of 1946 and 1960 and expands its coverage to include major tsunamis in the Mediterranean and off the coasts of Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Fiji, Alaska, California, Newfoundland, and the Caribbean, as well as the 1998 devastation in Papua New Guinea. Dramatic photographs and accounts of experiencing a tsunami firsthand are placed within the framework of the how and why of tsunamis, our scientific understanding of these phenomena, and the current status of the Tsunami Warning System, which is widely used to forecast and measure tsunamis and prepare coastal areas for potentially deadly tsunami strikes.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tsunami! (Second Edition) is written from a Hawaiian Islands perspective, but includes tsunamis from around the world. A large portion of the book is devoted to recounting the experiences of individuals who witnessed a tsunami firsthand. Many of the stories survivors shared have been intertwined by the authors, providing a panoramic view of the cataclysmic events.In addition to the collection of personal experiences, the reader will find a "simplified summary of recent (pre-1999) tsunami research findings," a discussion of the development of warning systems and big picture view of tsunamis on earth through the millennia.The authors have included a large number of illustrations depicting the destruction and tragedy caused by various tsunamis. For the reader inclined to further research the topic, the book includes a dozen pages of references in a bibliography and suggested readings.