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75 years ago today - as the Hawaii Tribune Herald says "A Wall of Water"

5:44 AM · Apr 2, 2021

Today is the 75th anniversary of the 1946 Tsunami. An earthquake between 7.8 and 8.6 in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska happened during the night and the first wave made it to Hilo by about 7 a.m.. People who started working early were already at work, like fishermen and sugar plantation workers, a lot of the rest were getting ready for work or school. That first wave was estimated by eyewitnesses as 35-50 feet high. It destroyed the Hilo waterfront and low lying areas including the 'new town' Shinmachi and 159 people died, 25 of those in Laupahoehoe. The tsunami destroyed several railroad bridges and brought an end to the transport of sugarcane by trains on the island. Philip Ong and Dane DuPont have it as the most destructive event in the past 100 years in "Top 10 Natural Disasters On Hawai'i Island In The Last 100 Years" - Today's Hawaii Tribune Herald has it on the front page - image from this article. Tonight at 9 p.m. Hawaii PBS is going to air a documentary called "Shinmachi" that has interviews with a survivor.

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