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Tsunami hits Hilo

The most destructive waves ever to hit Hawai`i arrived on April Fool's Day. Triggered by a 7.1 level earthquake in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, a tsunami broke over the north and east shores of the Islands, hitting the town of Hilo especially hard. Maximum wave run-ups of 55 feet were recorded in Pololu valley on Hawai`i island. In some places, sea water came half a mile inland. Before the first waves, the ocean was drawn out from shore up to 500 feet. Many children and adults unknowingly stepped toward danger when they went out to explore the exposed seabed. The tsunami killed 159 in the Islands that day, 96 of them in Hilo, and did $10,500,000 in property damage.

(Click here for information on how you can help with Tsunami Relief)

 Sites for further information

TSUNAMI RELIEF (Donation Links)

Photographs of the 1946 Hilo Tsunami (Pacific Tsunami Museum)

"I saw a brown wall of water coming in" (Star-Bulletin)

"Tsunami Recollections: Maui and Moloka’i" (Center for Oral History, University of Hawaii)

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