Hawaiian Volcano 

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Car damaged by tsunami at Punaluʻu, Hawaiʻi
Photograph by Andy Badig, Ka`u News

The tsunami completely turned around and smashed this car at Punaluʻu, 55 km southwest of the earthquake epicenter. The earthquake woke several families camped near the beach and others sleeping in nearby houses, but few suspected that a tsunami was moving swiftly toward them. Sea level began rising rapidly within a few minutes after the earthquake, forcing campers and residents to wade quickly to higher ground. The largest wave arrived about 10 minutes later, destroying seven homes and two vehicles and causing damage of nearly $1 million ($3.3 million in 1999 dollars) as it swept through a restaurant and gift shop; the structures remained standing and no injuries were reported.

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Updated : 17 December 1998 (pnf)