1958 tsunami in Lituya Bay, Alaska © RealLifeLore
Surf News Network, Feb 2017 – A recent video project has explored the height and strength of tsunamis both recent and ancient. While the world has grown familiar with the destructive power unleashed by this natural phenomenon, this new, seven-minute video answers the question: “Just how big do tsunamis get?” The answer lies with a phenomenon known as a megatsunami.
“Unlike a regular tsunami caused by an earthquake, a megatsunami is usually caused when a massive amount of material suddenly falls into water and displaces that water into a huge wave,” the folks at RealLifeLore said in the video.
As an example they site an Italian catastrophe where a mountainside slid into a resevoir creating a wave as high as the TransAmerica building in San Francisco California. Another mega-tsunami from the 20th century is the July 9, 1958 tsunami in Lituya Bay, Alaska caused by a landslide that was triggered by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. Waves reached a height of 1,720 feet that day.