Japan Tsunami Taller Than 10-Story Building

Giant wave was biggest recorded in decades: Experts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2011 1:40 AM CDT
Updated Jul 19, 2011 7:00 AM CDT
The Japanese tsunami floods over the breakwater protecting the coastal city of Miyako following an earthquake earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Mainichi Shimbun, Tomohiko Kano)
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(Newser) – The tsunami that struck Japan in March rose to a staggering 132.5 feet at its highest, taller than a 10-story building, according to 150 researchers who have collected data from thousands of locations along the country's east coast. Here's how it stacks up: The killer wave was taller than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (108 feet), taller than Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue (130 feet), and taller than any other tsunami recorded in Japan (125.3 feet, in 1896), the Telegraph reports.

The tsunami was at its tallest when it struck the port city of Miykao, according to experts who measured marks left on buildings and trees in the valley where the town sits. The largest tsunami ever recorded was in Alaska in 1958, when a landslide caused a mega-tsunami 1,720 feet tall—470 feet higher than the Empire State Building—to sweep through the Lituya Bay inlet.

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