JAPAN: Ripsnorter

Vast geologic forces stir in the Tuscarora Deep, a submarine trench facing Japan. Last week a section of the ocean floor gave way, creating a violent tremor. Ten-foot seismic waves of water thundered toward the main home island of Honshu, raced up the funnel neck of Kii Strait, dealt sleeping villages across 60,000 square miles six shattering blows in three hours. Tokyo newspapers called it the worst disaster since the great earthquake of September 1923, which killed 143,000. Said famed Fordham Seismologist Father Joseph J. Lynch: "A ripsnorter."

About 650 Japanese were killed,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!