On This Day In 1946, The Unthinkable Happened In Hawaii

In the middle of the night on April 1, 1946, an undersea earthquake in the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska triggered a massive tsunami that killed 159 people in Hawaii. Approximately 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface a 7.4 magnitude tremor was recorded in the North Pacific, triggering deadly tidal waves through the Pacific.

Watch some chilling footage from that devastating day 70 years ago below.

After the devastating tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center was established in order to predict and warn residents of potential tsunamis across the islands. Headquartered in Ewa Beach, the center is one of two tsunami warning centers operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. – the other center is in Palmer, Alaska.