“Author’s fiction turns horribly real” via the Japan Times Online

The Pacific Ocean a few kilometers off the coast of a city in the Tokai region of central Honshu turns white. Hundreds of curious holidaymakers caught in a traffic jam on the seaside road get out of their cars and jump up onto the sea wall for a better view of the strange sight — only to realize that a giant tsunami is heading their way.

Horrified, they race inland toward a hill, but climbing its cliffs is not easy. The mammoth wave, meanwhile, hits the shore, swallowing — in seconds — the embankment, the cars and the people desperately trying to scale the cliffs.

This vivid description of a killer wave triggered by a huge undersea earthquake (paraphrased here from the Japanese) is a scene from Tetsuo Takashima’s 2005 novel “Tsunami,” in which the Kobe-based writer uses fiction to alert people to the dangers of earthquakes and tsunami.

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