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Expect the unexpected tsunami

March 31, 2011
Maui Weekly

• 1703, tsunami kills over 5,200, destroys over 20,000 buildings;

• 1703, tsunami kills over 100,000;

• 1707, 13 tsunamis kill over 30,000, destroy over 29,000 buildings;

• 1737, tsunami kills thousands;

• 1766, tsunami kills 1,335, destroys over 7,500 buildings;

• 1771, tsunami kills over 9,400;

• 1792, earthquake and tsunami kill over 15,000;

• 1854, earthquake and tsunami kill over 3,000;

• 1876, earthquake and several 100-foot tsunami kill 28,321, destroys 6,222 buildings;

• 1896, 110-foot tsunami kills nearly 28,000, the wave hits 170 miles of coastline and travels 100 miles inland;

• 1898, earthquake and tsunami kill over 22,000;

• 1923, earthquake and tsunami kill about 143,000 in Tokyo;

• 1933, several tsunami kill over 3,000;

• 1947, earthquake and six tsunamis kill over 1,000;

• 1954, tsunami kills about 2,400;

• 2011, tsunami kills tens of thousands, causes a nuclear power plant meltdown threatening millions more.

According to these records, a devastating tsunami hits Japan an average of once every 20 years, yet it is an unexpected disaster, not considered a probability to those who would build nuclear power plants in Japan.

Funnel-shaped bays facing the earthquake-prone Aleutian Islands are considered the most likely places for devastating tsunamis.

Where is Maui on the world map? Where are our major seaport and airport located? Is Kahului Harbor funnel-shaped? Will it be an “unexpected disaster” when Kahului is inundated?

 
 

 

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