EAST COAST HERITAGE VIGNETTE
When we think of tidal waves caused by a tsunami occuring; it’s usually a phenomenom far from our reach in Asia or some other southern climates. Newfoundland; however, suffered through the devastation of it’s own tsunami on November 18th, 1929. What would be a calm evening would soon errupt into disaster and devastation.
- 5pm: It all began with an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale. It hit the area known as the Grand Banks which is about 400 km south of Newfoundland.
- 7:30pm: The first wave; called a trough wave, hit the southern coast on the Burin Peninsula. This wave would then roll back exposing the ocean floor. This caused many boats in the various harbours to topple sideways. Minutes later, three more massive waves pounded the peninsula with a sea level that swelled by about 20 feet. These waves pulverized about 40 communities all along the coast of Placentia Bay. Approximately 100 homes were destroyed in Point au Gaul alone.
- 8pm: It was all over! In it’s wake; it caused massive destruction , sweeping people out to sea, destroying homes, harbours, boats and literally anything in the way. Twenty Eight people were confirmed to have perished in the disaster and hundreds were left destitute.
In the aftermath; all means of communication were severed and there was no help from outside sources. It took 3 long days for word to reach the St John’s Authorities and for help to arrive. The people were alone! Imagine…I can’t even begin to but now you know ….