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Unusually high tides flood coasts in Northern Okinawa

Date Posted: 2003-10-03

Unusually high tides continue to flood low-lying coastal areas in the northern part of the island. Officials say the sea level rose over the seawall in Nago, Motobu and Ogimi on Monday, sending seawater to people’s lawns and homes. The Okinawa Meteorological Bureau says the tide in Tomari Port Naha City rose 132 cm above normal. The high tides have continued in Okinawa since August and have been on average 20 cm above normal. The Monday tides were the highest of the entire year.

Officials say that unusually high water temperatures combining with ocean currents are the cause of the high tides. Satellite images show the warm water block that brings the high tides is concentrated in the area between Okinawa main island and Yaeyama archipelago. Scientists cannot, however, explain the mechanism of how and why such a body of water appears.

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