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It’s another beautiful day of your paradise vacation in South Asia. You look out onto a calm sea on this day after Christmas, already looking forward to ringing in 2005. But why is the ocean receding so far from shore? Are those fish flapping around in the sand? Something is not right. Your island getaway is about to be devastated with the 80-foot-plus waves of one of the worst tsunamis in history.

The 2004 Asian Tsunami was the result of the second largest earthquake ever recorded. Lasting over eight minutes, it was also the longest on record. The quake measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, large enough to vibrate the entire planet, violent enough to move an ocean. Through eyewitness accounts and dramatic photography, the first chapter of Tsunamis puts you in the terrifying path of the wave that washed ashore in many countries. The tsunami wiped out whole communities and claimed an estimated 230,000 lives. Tsunamis explores the science, history, and personal experience of tsunamis and shows kids what scientists are doing to develop early warning systems so we can survive such disasters in the future.

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From the Hardcover edition.

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