December 24, 2011


One of the top news stories of 2011 was the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. Many areaders expressed their sympathy toward the people of Sendai, and wondered how exactly such a huge, deadly wave forms.













The terrible earthquake that hit Japan in March 2011 was a magnitude 8.9. That’s one of the biggest ever recorded. The devastation caused was bad enough, but the resulting tsunami was even worse.

A tsunami used to be called a tidal wave, but that’s not a correct term. Tsunamis have nothing to do with tides - those are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon (and the sun to a lesser degree). The violent shaking of the earth underneath the ocean causes tsunamis. Tsunamis can also travel across long distances on the ocean. At sea, a tsunami wave is scarcely noticeable, but when the wave comes close to shore, it builds up and up and can by many feet high. 

For readers who want to read more about earthquakes and why we seem to have had so many big ones this year, you can read my earlier blog post:  


Photograph: The tsunami crashing into homes in Natori, Japan. Courtesy Kyodo News, via Associated Press.

For those of you receiving iPads or Nook Color/Tablets this season, Seymour Simon has many quality eBooks available for purchase, some discounted as much as 50% for the holidays. If you are adding reading material to a tablet, please consider making Seymour Simon’s exceptional nonfiction for children part of your collection. Happy holidays to all!


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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