Iwate saw wave test 38 meters

Kyodo News

A tsunami that hit a coastal city in Iwate Prefecture after the March 11 earthquake is estimated to have reached 37.9 meters in height, a field survey by a researcher at the University of Tokyo showed Sunday.

The tsunami as measured in the Taro district in the city of Miyako nearly equals the domestic record of 38.2 meters marked in the city of Ofunato in the prefecture in the 1896 Meiji Sanriku Earthquake Tsunami, according to Yoshinobu Tsuji, associate professor at the university’s Earthquake Research Institute.

Tsuji and his team checked the drift displacement from a port in the district and found that lumber from the port had reached the slope of a mountain some 200 meters away from the coast.

Tsuji calculated the height of the tsunami from the points at which the lumber was found.

The team also found fire engines and fishing boats washed away to the nearby points.

Tsuji’s team also plans to thoroughly examine the area as there were some traces of water found at places higher than the 37.9-meter point, the researcher said.

According to the Meteorological Agency, tsunami higher than 2 meters can destroy timber houses.