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December 6 2012

Landslide-Driven Megatsunamis Threaten Hawaii


SAN FRANCISCO It's almost unimaginable: a tsunami more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) high bearing down on the island of Hawaii.

But scientists have new evidence of these monster waves, called megatsunamis, doing just that. The findings were presented here yesterday (Dec. 5) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Unlike tsunamis from earthquakes, the Hawaiian tsunamis strike when the island chain's massive volcanoes collapse in humongous landslides. This happens about every 100,000 years, and is linked to climate change, said Gary McMurtry, a professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

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