Japan Tsunami Highest Measured

By By Jim Andrews, Accuweather.com Senior Meteorologist
July 22, 2011, 2:15:21 AM EDT

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The March 11 tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan has been called the highest ever measured in the nation, following detailed study by scores of researchers.

A maximum wave height of 132.5 feet was determined at the Omoeaneyoshi district of Miyako, in the Iwate prefecture of northeastern Honshu, the Telegraph (UK) reported on Monday.


Ship left atop building in Otsuchi, Iwate prefecture, Japan, following March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Yasuhiro Takami).

The former wave height record in this tsunami-prone land was 125.3 feet following the Minami Sanriku Earthquake in 1896, according to the report.

For perspective, the Telegraph gave the 130-foot height of the Rio de Janeiro's famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue as a reference.

Also, the Statue of Liberty, above the pedestal and foundation, has a height of 151 feet.

Another catastrophic tsunami, that of 2004 in the Indian Ocean, reached at least 108 feet.

The 150 experts, representing 48 research organizations, gathered data from 5,400 locations along Japan's east coast, according to the Telegraph. Tell-tale marks found on trees and buildings were used in determining the wave height.

The devastating Tohoku tsunami followed a magnitude 9.0 great quake that struck beneath the sea floor off northeastern Honshu.

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