Tsunami


July #16 Colours and Letters challenge: end with ‘I’

The Wave By Katsushika Hokusai – Metropolitan Museum of Art, online database: entry 45434, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2798407. Although it is often used in tsunami literature, there is no reason to suspect that Hokusai intended it to be interpreted in that way. The waves in this work are sometimes mistakenly referred to as tsunami (津波), but they are more accurately called okinami (沖波), great off-shore waves.

“On 27 August 1883 an explosion of Krakatau Volcano in Indonesia caused a tsunami. The eruption generated a 30m tsunami in the Sunda Strait which killed about 36,000 people, as it washed away 165 coastal villages on Java and Sumatra.

As a child I remember seeing the film based on this dreadful event in history. Made in 1953 the film Fair Wind to Java must have been repeated as I’m sure we didn’t go to the cinema and we certainly didn’t have a television in 1953. The film had a dramatic impact on me and through my childhood it featured in recurring dreams.

I love to be standing at the point where land meets sea, but when the sea is calm and the beach deserted I can often be overwhelmed both by the calm and beauty of the seascape and at the same time imagine that terrifying mountainous wave approaching on the horizon.

Subsequent eruptions of Krakatau in recent years have caused more deaths and destruction and a warning in the Science Times April 23rd 2020 reports more possible earthquakes here in this article.