Windward Coast of the Island of Hawaii
Trip Day Nine: Sunday, September 30, 2007
Park at Laupahoehoe Point
The slope near this point was once the site of a school for local children.
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.
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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