Mentawai tsunami - Some waves may have reached 17 meter

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The tsunami that devastated the Mentawai Islands off West Sumatra last month featured waves much larger than would normally have been expected from the magnitude 7.7 earthquake that spawned it, according to a tsunami expert.

Jose Borrero, from ASR Ltd., a marine consulting firm, said on Friday that the finding was extraordinary.

œWe were extremely surprised by the size of the waves on one of the small islands offshore of Pagai, he said at a press conference at the office of the presidential advisory council.

œWe found evidence that the tsunami waves reached a height of 17 meters (56 feet), which was much bigger than we had expected to find, he said.

Borrero, who is also a researcher at the University of Southern California™s Tsunami Research Center, said that while most residents of the islands were aware of the potential for a tsunami, the majority had been caught unawares by the relative weakness of the Oct. 25 quake.


This is an excerpt from JakartaGlobe
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