Seismic Sea Wave of April 2

    Abstract

    ON April 2 a strong tunami, beginning near Unimak in the Aleutians, ranged the Pacific Coast of the Americas and the Pacific Islands to distances of 7,000 miles. At Scotch Cape Lighthouse, near Unimak, it is reported to have attained a height of 100 ft. and to have killed ten people there. The effects were probably greatest at Hilo, Hawaii, at a distance of some 2,040 miles from Unimak Island. This town, with a population of 22,000, was devastated by at least three waves four to six feet high travelling at some 30 knots. Buildings on one side of Kamehameha Avenue were flung against those on the other side. In the town, sixty bodies have so far been recovered and twenty-three in the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is feared that the death-roll may reach 150, and damage is estimated at £2½ millions. At the time of the disaster, there were two ships in the harbour ; one managed to put to sea, but the other, a freighter, was tossed up on the beach. The wave was less strong along the Californian coast, and in the neighbourhood of Arica and Iquique (Chile) it caused some apprehension. During the 24 hours following the Unimak earthquake, there were five strong aftershocks and forty or fifty smaller ones from the same or nearby epicentres.

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    Seismic Sea Wave of April 2. Nature 157, 474 (1946) doi:10.1038/157474a0

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