Waves tracked across Indian Ocean

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Abstract

Waves that were 11 meters high when they struck Réunion Island on 12 May have been detected with the European Space Agency satellite Envisat. The waves originated from very intense storm winds south of Cape Town, South Africa, on 8 May and traveled northeast for nearly 4000 kilometers before hitting the island's southern port of Saint Pierre, leaving two fishermen missing and flooding homes and businesses. Bertrand Chapron of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea, one of the scientists who used the Envisat Synthetic Aperture Radar data to track the waves, said that in the future the same technology might be used to better predict the arrival time and intensity of these types of waves.

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