Japanese experts predict 34-metre wave

Much of Japan's Pacific coast could be inundated by tsunami over 34 metres high if a powerful earthquake hits offshore, a government panel warned.

The panel of experts modelled the worst-case scenario should a magnitude-9.0 earthquake strike in the Nankai Trough, which runs east of Japan's main island of Honshu to the southern island of Kyushu. A forecast in 2003 put the potential height of such a tsunami at less than 20 metres.

Last year's magnitude-9.0 earthquake spawned a 14-metre wave that devastated much of Japan's north-east coast, killed 19,000 people and triggered meltdowns at a nuclear power plant. The revised projections are based on new research.