Benchmarks: April 1, 1946: Hawaii tsunami ushers in a Pacific-wide warning system

On the morning of April 1, 1946, children were on their way to school in the small peninsula community of Laupahoehoe on the island of Hawaii (the Big Island). Curious about the fish that were flopping around in the sand on the beach, the students were too busy to notice the ocean sucking all the water out of the bay. Minutes later, a large wave — about 15 meters high — struck the peninsula and swept 16 children and five teachers out to sea.
 

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Laurie J. Schmidt

Laurie J. Schmidt is a freelance science writer in Arizona. She was living in Hawaii during the 2011 tsunami and received a PTWC tsunami alert on her cell phone just minutes after the earthquake struck Japan.

Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 06:00