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Windward Coast of the Island of Hawaii

Trip Day Nine: Sunday, September 30, 2007

Laupahoehoe Park

Photo by Owen Tyler
Park at Laupahoehoe Point

The slope near this point was once the site of a school for local children.
Photo by Owen Tyler
In Memory of Those Lost In The Tidal Wave
April 1, 1946
Coincidently, while we were there, a teacher who survived that fatefull day in 1946 was there visiting the memorial for the first time since the tragedy occured. Some of our group had the opportunity to hear some of her recollections.
Twenty-four names are carved on this memorial — mostly teen-age students of the nearby school. We didn't know so much about them in those days, and when the tsunami sucked all the shallow water away from the land while the first big wave was amassing its wall of water, the students and teachers were curious and ran to the beach to observe the spectacle. The wave rolled in and took all who were in its range. We have since learned that these waves have nothing to do with tides and have adopted the Japanese name for them. This same catastrophe demolished much of the city of Hilo with a much higher death toll. That event inspired the Pacific Tsunami Warning System to give advance warnings and signage to identify evacuation routes in vulnerable locations in Hawaii and North America.  
Photo by Owen Tyler

Photo by Owen Tyler
The surf is working hard to make a black-sand beach here.
But, I think it will be a while before children can run across it to splash in the waves.
The shallow sea just off Laupahoehoe Point

We're off to the overlook above the Waipi'o Valley next.

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