Tsunami Wave Heights: 1975

On November 29, 1975, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of Puna on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. When the quake-generated tsunami struck, 32 campers were at Halapē Beach Park. The sound of falling rocks from a nearby cliff, along with earth movement caused the campers to flee toward the ocean. They were then forced back to the cliff by rising ocean waters. The first wave was 5 feet high, but the second wave was 26 feet high and carried the unfortunate campers into a ditch near the base of the cliff, where they remained until the ordeal ended. Two campers died and 19 suffered injuries.