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In 2004 tsunamis in the Indian Ocean swept over entire islands, wiping some of them completely off the map and killing more than 230,000 people. Unfortunately, tsunamis like these cannot be stopped, but they can be better understood. What causes these huge waves to form? How can they be detected? And what can be done to alert people that these fast-moving waves are approaching?
As author and illustrator Taylor Morrison explains, ever since a deadly tsunami hit Hawaii in 1946, scientists have been hard at work, developing the first Seismic Sea Wave Warning System and studying these powerful waves in hopes of saving lives by decreasing false alarms and by reacting with greater speed and accuracy to real threats.
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Taylor Morrison pairs his artistic talent with extensive research to bring readers engaging nonfiction picturebooks. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, he has illustrated several books for children. He was born in Kansas, raised in Illinois, and now makes his home in Oregon.From Publishers Weekly:
Morrison (Wildfire) tackles another topic in the science arena with this wide-ranging story of how tsunami warning systems came into being. His well-researched, chronological account also looks at the causes and aftermath of these giant waves, as gray-hued illustrations powerfully convey their destructive force. The introductory spread about recent Indian Ocean tsunamis shows people running from or being engulfed by a giant wave as cars get tossed and telephone poles are uprooted. The narrative then travels back to a 1946 earthquake off Alaska. Tsunamis spawned by that temblor wreaked havoc in Hawaii, spurring a massive collaborative effort of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, ingenious scientists, and even the Pentagon to create a warning system. Spot and panel illustrations, diagrams and lengthy chunks of text work in concert to relate the history of its development. While some sidebar information tends toward the obscure (terms like P and S waves and triangulation are used but left undefined; the mechanical workings of seismometers and tidal gauges are detailed), Morrison's pictures help fill in the gaps. Brief survivor accounts can seem out of place amid the technical, more expository tone of most of the book, but it's the personal tales and other anecdotes (Many Hawaiians didn't believe the warnings about giant waves because it was April Fool's Day) that will sustain the interest of younger audiences. All ages. (Apr.)
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