Television

Discovery US to air "America'sTsunami: Are We Next"

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MUMBAI: Discovery US will air the new geological evidence that seafloor uplift from the 9.2 magnitude Great Sumatra earthquake -- not a giant underwater landslide as previously thought -- caused the devastating 26 December 2004, Asian tsunami in its special show titled, America's Tsunami: Are We Next? on 18 December 2005.

The Indian Ocean expedition and new scientific findings enabled scientists to use data to improve computer-generated tsunami wave models and better predict the next tsunami wave. Specifically, scientists point to the northwest region of the US as being most at risk for a tsunami event because its fault lines are a mirror image of those in the Indian Ocean subduction zone. Scientists estimate that tsunami events happen every 200 to 400 years on the West Coast. The last occurred on January 26, 1700.

With a fault line located just 50 miles off the coast along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, this region is thought to be the next target, with potential waves as high as 90 feet.

Discovery US executive VP and GM Jane Root says, "We are proud to provide the resources enabling the leading experts to explore scientific phenomena quickly and accurately while also immersing viewers in a part of the world they have never seen before. It is our hope that the show helps advance efforts in gaining a greater understanding of last year's tsunami and in predicting future destruction".

The show follows an international team of 27 scientists led by Dr Kate Moran from the University of Rhode Island. The team quickly mobilised last May and was the first team to reach the tsunami epicenter. Using camera equipment, the special shows never-before-seen footage of the epicenter and the massive and dramatic geologic changes that caused gigantic waves.

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