1952 Kamchatka Peninsula Tsunami at Midway
Image Credit – U.S. Navy
Flooded street resulting from the arrival of the Kamchatka tsunami on Midway Island about 1,864 miles away from the origin.
On November 4, 1952, at 16:52 GMT, an earthquake occurred off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. A Pacific-wide tsunami was triggered by the earthquake, which had a surface-wave magnitude of 8.2, an epicenter of 52.8° N, 159.5° E, and a focal depth of 18.6 miles. Six cows died and no human lives were lost in Hawaii where damage estimates ranged from $800,000- $1,000,000 (1952 dollars). In later years, the quake was revised as being 9.0 in magnitude.
The tsunami had caused severe damage to Kamchatka Peninsula and then proceeded throughout the pacific. Midway Island was innundated with 1 m of water, flooding streets and buildings. On the Hawaiian Islands the waves destroyed boats, knocked down telephone lines, destroyed piers, scoured beaches, and flooded lawns. In Honolulu Harbor a cement barge was thrown into a freighter. In Hilo Bay a small bridge connecting Cocoanut Island to the shore was destroyed by a wave when it lifted off its foundation and then smashed down.
Japan reported no casualties or damage. The tsunami reached as far as Alaska, Chile, and New Zealand.