On November 29, 1975, at 14:48 GMT, an earthquake occurred off the coast of the Island of Hawaii. A locally felt tsunami was triggered by the earthquake, which had a surface-wave magnitude of 7.2, an epicenter of 19.3° N, 155.0° W, and a focal depth of 8 km. The greatest lost was at Halape, a beach park at the base of a large cliff, on the Island of Hawaii. At Halape, of the 32 campers 19 suffered injuries and 2 died. It was the sounds of the falling rocks from the cliff and the trembling that caused the campers to awake and a few moved to a coconut grove that was closer to the ocean. The campers were awaken by a second quake that sent large boulders down the cliff and forced the rest of the campers to flee toward the sea. However, these campers were forced back to cliffs when the campers at the coconut grove fleeing the rising ocean with cries of tsunami.
The first wave that alarmed the campers was only 1.5 m. The second wave, however, was 7.9 m carried campers into a ditch near the base of cliff where they remained until the ordeal ended. Two of the campers were not so lucky and died. The coconut grove that a few campers took shelter in received permanent subsidence between 3.0 and 3.5 meters.
The largest recorded
run-up was 14.3 m at Keauhou Landing, Hawaii Island. Also on the Island of Hawaii
in the small bay of Punaluu the run-up reached 7.6 m. At Punaluu houses were
swept off their foundations and properties were damaged. By the time local authorities
could sound the coastal sirens the first wave had already arrived. As in the
1964 in Alaska the best warning to the possible danger of a local tsunami is
the trembling from the earthquake that triggers it.