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A tsunami is a series of ocean waves generated by sudden displacements in the sea floor, landslides or volcanic activity. In the deep ocean, the tsunami wave may only be a few inches high. In 1868, a tsunami struck the coast from Hilo to South Cape, being most destructive at Keauhou, Puna and Honuʻapo; 180 houses were washed away and 62 lives were lost to the wave alone. Maximum wave heights were 65 feet, the highest observed on Hawaiʻi to date.

Other significant tsunami include, 1946 was generated by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the Aleutian Islands, This tsunami struck the Big Island of Hawaii on April 1st; on November 4, 1952 a tsunami was generated by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the USSR; on March 9, 1957 a tsunami was generated by a magnitude 8.3 earthquake in the Aleutian Islands; the tsunami of May 23, 1960 was generated by a magnitude 8.3 earthquake in Chile; on November 29, 1975, an earthquake occurred off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii; and an earthquake measured at 9.0 magnitude, the sixth biggest since 1900, struck Japan on March 11, 2011.

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“Lapahoi (Laupāhoehoe – leaf of lava) is a small stony flat with a few huts and sweet potatoes and taro patches scattered over it. It lies at the extremity of a deep ravine, the declivities on either side nearly 500 feet in height and extending to the sea beach, terminating in a rocky precipice. … The country … was fertile, beautiful, and apparently populous.” Lowlands of the Laupāhoehoe region became the focus of sugar plantation efforts as early as the 1850s.

While the main business of the railroad was the transport of raw sugar and other products to and from the mills, it also provided passenger service. Early in the morning of April 1, 1946, a massive tsunami struck Hawaiʻi. At Laupāhoehoe Point, waves destroyed teachers’ residences and flooded school grounds, killing 25-people, including 16-students and 5-teachers of Laupāhoehoe School.

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Mokuola, in Hawaiian culture, is a place of healing.  A rock just off its shore is believed to have healing powers, and people who were

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Tsunami in Hawai‘i

Today – March 11 – is the first anniversary of the Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami.                 A tsunami is a series of ocean waves

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