You may have heard that a magnitude 7.8 quake has hit Japan. This post will be in extremely bad taste if there are a massive amount of lives lost (7.8 is pretty horrifically big after all), but something struck me odd about the report:
A strong quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 rocked the northern island of Hokkaido early Friday morning, knocking out power, reportedly derailing a train and touching off an industrial fire…
The quake struck in the Pacific Ocean, about 65 miles south-southwest of Kushiro and 495 miles north-northeast of Tokyo, said John Minsch, a geophysicist for the U.S. agency.
“That makes it more likely to be a tsunami, and there’s most likely to be a great amount of damage,” Minsch said.
That part doesn’t bother me. I am sufficiently awed and rightly concerned for the people of Japan, and it’s neighboring territories; visions of 40-foot high tsunamis crashing into poor villagers and washing them away, glubbing and sputtering their last breaths. But then it says this:
Japan’s meteorological agency warned that waves of up to 3 feet were expected to hit coastal areas.
Oh the horror! Take cover! Three foot wa… wait, what? THREE foot waves? You mean that “massive” amounts of water will be rushing towards me at… barely waste level? I am no longer sufficiently awed. I am not duly impressed. Three foot waves sounds like a tame day at the beach. Three foot waves are usually pretty walled-out with no tubes. Three foot waves are nothing to report to the news about.
Or am I missing something big? (no pun intended)