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The Great Tsunami of 1964
Alberni Valley Museum
Port Alberni , British Columbia


   On Good Friday, 1964, a
record breaking earthquake
off the coast of Alaska sent
a series of seismic waves
along the coast of Vancouver
Island and as far as
California. Water was
funnelled down the narrow
Alberni Inlet, gaining
momentum and speed, before

hitting the Twin Cities of
Alberni and Port Alberni with
a series of tsunamis shortly
after midnight. Due to the
heroism and quick responses
by many, there were no
casualties, but the
waterfront was declared a
disaster area, millions of
dollars’ worth of damage to

buildings and homes and the
community required federal
and provincial assistance
with recovery and clean up.
Homes, buildings and cars
literally floated away and
many were deposited in
streets or crushed into other
buildings. Water lines, pipe
lines, fuel lines and fuel

tanks were smashed and leaked
their contents into the
river, inlet, fields and
yards. Power lines and phone
lines were also damaged and
throughout the evening and
into the next day
communication was strictly
limited to radio broadcasts
that could be accessed on

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