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Campus Now

Midsummer Issue (Jul.)


A Four Hour Continuous Tsunami

Reporting the Results of the Investigative Team of the Chilean Tsunami

Professor Shibayama (right) at a press conference

The Faculty of Science and Engineering's coastal environment-disaster prevention research laboratory sent a "Chilean Tsunami Investigative team," led by Professor Tomoya Shibayama, to investigate the damage of the February 27 Chilean earthquake and tsunami. From April 2-11 they surveyed the damage inflicted on the coastal region surrounding Chile's second largest city of Concepcion.

Situation at the site

Results showed that the tsunami was trapped in coastal waters and continued to pound the coast for over four hours. The primary factor behind the total number of earthquake and tsunami victims being a low 350, compared to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which struck southern Sri Lanka (claiming a total of 40,000 lives, including those listed as missing), also became clear. The reason that can be given is that tsunami education became widespread after the 1960 Chilean earthquake and 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, so many people fled to high places. As it was a large scale earthquake, locals had a definite sense that a tsunami would come.