Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami...Japan to Hawaii

Japan's largest earthquake in history erupted about 80 miles off shore yesterday afternoon. A tsunami swept over a mile of Japan's coast. The quake was the seventh largest on record. 8.9.

The under-water earthquake created some amazing video. It hit during the daylight hours...just before 3 PM. Check out this BBC video of the whirlpool created right off the coast.

Hawaii and the west coast of the United States was under a tsunami warning this morning. There were concerns that the large waves would damage ports/coast lines. The damage was minimal on the islands of Hawaii. The waves did push some boats under water and into other vessels in California.

A tsunami is created when an earthquake erupts under water. The force of the earthquake must be a vertical push...not horizontal. That upward force sends a ring of waves outward from the epicenter. Then the water gets sucked downward and then back up again.

The USGS has some great interactive web sites that we can use to teach and learn about earthquakes and tsunami events. Here is a link to one of their sites that starts with an eye-witness account of the 2004 tsunami that killed over 200,000 people in Indonesia.

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