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Hawaiian Volcano 
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Area swept by tsunami wave at Keauhou Bay, Kona, Hawaiʻi
Photograph by Leigh Critchlow, Hawaii Tribune-Herald

The tsunami washed this boat onto a dock in Keauhou Bay, Kona, Hawaiʻi. Moving southwest from the earthquake epicenter, the tsunami rounded Hawaiʻi's South Point and struck the highly-developed west (Kona) coast of Hawaiʻi about 27 minutes after the earthquake. At Keauhou Bay (above), some fishing boats were sunk and others damaged by a 2.4 m wave that crested over the pier, crashed through a house, and left one fishing boat stranded on the dock. At Kailua-Kona, the wave crested at 1.8 to 2.1 m, piled debris against a newly completed hotel, sank one boat, and damaged three others.

Along the Kona Coast, the tsunami caused wide fluctuations in sea level for more than an hour after the earthquake struck at 4:48 a.m. HST. For example, at 5:21 a.m., water receded 1.2 to 1.5 m at NĀpōʻopoʻo, and 7 minutes later water receded 2.4 m at Kailua. At 5:45 a.m., the Kailua pier was under water, at 6:50 a.m. water was over Aliʻi Drive in Kailua, and at 6:58 a.m. wave action continued at Keauhou Bay.


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Updated : 17 December 1998 (pnf)