I watched a news special tonight covering the tragic events surrounding the Tsunami. What confuses me is the location of the devistation. Specifically, several towns severely damaged and highlighted on the show were on the "backside" of the island relative to the wave trajectory. I assumed (obviously incorrectly) that damage would require a direct hit by the waves, akin to how wind effects the windward but not the leeward side of an island.
Why was I wrong?