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Japan considers 'gigantic' tsunami

Japan considers 'gigantic' tsunami
Destruction is seen as the sun rises in Iwanuma, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, on April 15, 2011. A massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11 destroyed homes, killed thousands and caused a nuclear disaster. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo

TOKYO, June 21 (UPI) -- Officials in tsunami-prone areas of Japan say they need a clear definition of the height of "the largest possible tsunami" predicted by a government panel.

Local administrators have asked the country's central government for clarification of the maximum height of the largest possible tsunami cited by an expert panel of the Central Disaster Management Council, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday.

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The council, in analyzing the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, warned of the possibility of a "gigantic" tsunami as much as two times the size of what was previously believed to be the largest possible tsunami.

The panel is urging the central and local governments to work out measures that can deal with "the largest scientifically possible tsunami."

The Nagoya municipal government says it is concerned about what would happen if earthquakes in several of Japan's seismically active regions were to occur in conjunction.

"We want the central government to present its estimate of tsunami size soon so that we can reinforce wave barriers and re-examine hazard maps," a city official said.

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