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Aftermath of the 1960 tsunami, Hilo, HI

My family lived in Honolulu when the tsunami hit. Warnings were broadcast, urging people to move inland. But, human nature being what it is, some headed to the shore to watch.

Fortunately, the island of Oahu was spared. Hilo (on the Big Island) was not. Wave heights in Hilo Bay reached 35 feet. Sixty-one people were killed. Over 500 homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged.

I found these photographs of the tsunami damage while sorting through boxes of family memorabilia. My brother and I believe they were taken by our father. We had moved from Hilo several years before. But dad worked for the Soil Conservation Service and frequently traveled to the other islands. He was on the Big Island shortly after the tsunami.

Two short articles about the tsunami: Article 1 Article 2

The original prints of the following photographs have been donated to The Pacific Tsunami Museum and have been designated the "E. Lynn Guenther Collection."

Click on the thumbnail to view a larger picture.

Copyright 2007
David Guenther

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