The tsunami wave measured

We have a little clearer picture today of just how large the tsunami was that devastated Japan after an earthquake nearly two weeks ago.

The Tokyo Electric Company, which operates the nuclear power station that’s been struggling with containing radiation therein, says the wave was 14 meters high — 42 feet — when it reached the plant’s parking lot.

But the Kyodo News Agency reports it reached 23.6 meters in the city of Ofunato — 77 feet.

How high is that? Imagine you’re standing at the corner of Wacouta and Sixth Street in the Lowertown section of St. Paul. Look up. That’s 77 feet.


Seventy-seven cubic feet of water weighs more than two tons.

That helps to explain why we’re still blown away by the images of the aftermath:

  • michael

    Some small comments- 14 meters is about 46.4 feet, not 42 feet. And although 77 cubic feet of water may or may not weigh more than two tons, a tsunami doesn’t hit in a neat and tidy geometrical package that’s 77 feet high, 1 foot wide and 1 foot long, so the impact of a tsunami is going to be one ton after another after another after..well you get the idea.