Just before midnight on March 27, 1964, the first of six massive waves strikes Port Alberni on Vancouver Island. Sparked by the deadly Good Friday earthquake in Alaska a few hours earlier, a two-storey "wall of water" topples trees, flings cars into buildings and rips houses from their foundations. CBC Television talks to residents as they struggle to recover.
The earliest description of a tsunami-type wave comes from 479 B.C. in the northern part of the Aegean Sea. Similar waves have been reported worldwide, though they are more common in the Pacific, with its earthquake-prone perimeter.