Massive tidal waves, generated from the Chilean earthquake smashed into japan's Pacific coast, May 24, leaving a trail of death and destruction from Kushiro in Hokkaido to the Ice peninsula in Honshu. 800 are feared dead and more than 150,000 were rendered homeless as the waves - reaching height of 30 feet in some places -struck Japan unawares between dawn and noon.
AIR V..Coastline where tidal wave struck.
LV Showing flooded streets and debris float.
CU PAN..Debris and wrecked street.
CU Logs amongst wreckage.
LV Anxious people watching on coastline.
SV Water washing over beach.
SV Water PAN UP to damaged bridge.
AIR V..Of Devastated area, dwellings etc.\
SCU Woman sweeping mud etc., away.
SV People retrieving belongings.
AIR V. Damaged area.
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Background: Massive tidal waves, generated from the Chilean earthquake smashed into japan's Pacific coast, May 24, leaving a trail of death and destruction from Kushiro in Hokkaido to the Ice peninsula in Honshu. 800 are feared dead and more than 150,000 were rendered homeless as the waves - reaching height of 30 feet in some places -struck Japan unawares between dawn and noon.
Areas most affected were the eastern coast of Hokkaido and the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures - and particularly the Sendai area of Northern honshu. Houses with sleeping inhabitants were thrown inland, fishing boats were torn from moorings, and railway and road communications were rendered ineffective in many places. The stricken population tried desperately to retrieve their homes and belongings from the chaos. American units with helicopters and ground defence forces wee sent in to perform relief and rescue work in the worst hit districts. Emergency supplies were also provided.
The waves - still pounding Japan at midnight - also hit Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Polynesia, the Philippines and Formosa. No warning was apparently received in Japan from the United States meteorological authorities in Hawaii, presumably because waves of 3 feet and more striking Hawaii normally never reach the Japanese coast.
Assessment of material damage in Japan so far includes 5,800 homes destroyed, 40,200 flooded and 1,690 fishing boats sunk or washed away. Thy Tokyo-Yokohama area, protected by Tokyo Bay, was relatively unscathed. In the Bay, with its great area of sheltered water, the movement was enough to break log booms apart and make it necessary to warn ships against the floating menace of thousands of lengths of floating mahogany.
Latest reports estimate the toll of dead and missing in Chili - still being battered by earthquakes - at nearly 6,000, with many more thousands injured and half a million homeless. Whole communities have been wiped out and officials say it would be better to build new towns rather than salvage the old.