Sunday, December 7, 1941. Grandpa and Grandma have told us this story many times before. When I first heard the stories, I just listened intently, but recently I have been trying to get more details about their lives during this time.
My Grandparents at the time lived on the corner of Beretania and Piikoi. Grandpa was working in construction. He was at a constuction site right above Pearl Harbor when the first wave of Zero's struck. "We could see everything," he said.
The 1960 Tsunami in Hilo, Hawaii
My mother graduated from Hilo High School in 1960. That was the year when a big tsunami hit Hilo. According to the tsunami.org website:
The tsunami to strike the state of Hawai'i on May 23, 1960 was generated from a 8.3 earthquake in Chile. Much of the damage occurred in Hilo, Hawai'i, where 61 people were killed, 537 buildings destroyed and damages totaled over $23 million.
While more then 24 hours warning was given that that a tidal wave would hit the Big Island at 12 o'clock, midnight, many people seemingly ignored the warning. My mother recalled that the tsunami hit later then predicted. She said she was listening to the radio at her A'ala Lane home, but turned it off and went to sleep after nothing happened. (While I was watching a documentary about the tsunami, they showed a large clock stuck on 1:10 am, the time Hilo was actually hit).
Early the next morning she went out to view the damage. Just down the street on Kilauea Avenue, the devastation was apparent. She ran into an older gentleman, who had just awaken and who had come outside to see what all the commotion was about. He had slept through the whole thing, and found everything under his house swept away.