LOOK BACK: Tsunami hits Port Alberni in 1964

This year is the 58th anniversary of the tsunami

Part of a dock hangs on the top of pilings, where the tsunami wave placed it. Fishing boats are tied to the docks nearby. March 1964. The 58th anniversary of the Port Alberni tsunami is coming up on March 27. This historical photo is one of 24,000 available for the public to see on the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives. See more at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com (PHOTO PN19027 COURTESY AV MUSEUM)

Part of a dock hangs on the top of pilings, where the tsunami wave placed it. Fishing boats are tied to the docks nearby. March 1964. The 58th anniversary of the Port Alberni tsunami is coming up on March 27. This historical photo is one of 24,000 available for the public to see on the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives. See more at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com (PHOTO PN19027 COURTESY AV MUSEUM)

More than 50 years ago, residents of Alberni and Port Alberni were awoken in the middle of the night by a tsunami.

March 27, 2022 marks the 58th anniversary of the Good Friday earthquake in Alaska, which resulted in a tsunami in the Port Alberni area.

READ MORE: Disaster strikes in the middle of the night

The tsunami lifted houses off their foundations, flung cars across streets and scattered stacks of lumber and logs like toothpicks. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

This photo, donated to the Alberni Valley Museum by the Alberni Valley Times, shows part of a dock hanging on the top of pilings, where the tsunami wave placed it.

Today, the most noticeable reminder of the 1964 disaster takes place at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month, when sirens across the Alberni Valley blare the sound of a didgeridoo for the region’s monthly test of the tsunami warning system.

READ MORE: ‘This is only a test’

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