This one was a killer. A Pacific-wide tsunami was triggered on May 22, 1960, by an 8.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of South Central Chile. The death count was estimated to be between 490 and 2,290 people lost. Damage estimates were over a half billion dollars.
The chronology of events that day took a particularly tragic turn in Chile, when inhabitants who took out small boats to escape the shaking returned soon afterward - just in time to die when a massive breaker swamped all of their vessels.After the tsunami had passed the Hawaiian Islands damage costs were estimated at $24 million and 61 people had died. Hilo once again turned into a punching for the tsunami. Some reports at the time said that residents ignored the warning sirens. Whatever the truth, 61 people died. In Japan, where the tsunami arrived nearly a day after the earthquake, 142 people lost their lives. In this photo, a view of the debris and bent parking meters left by the waves which inundated Hilo.