On August 4, 1946, at 1:51 pm near Samaná, Dominican Republic, the earth shook - hard. Residents did not know that they what they were about to experience would be entered into the history books as one of the Caribbean's deadliest tsunami.
The earthquake measured a whopping Ms8.1 and together with the tsunami which followed, caused widespread damage across the island of Hispaniola.
The earthquake killed about 100 people and left nearly 20,000 homeless. Severe damage was reported in northern Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata to Santiago and Samana with sand blows observed in areas near the epicenter. The earthquake was felt stronly in neighbouring Haiti and Puerto Rico. Felt reports also came from eastern Cuba and the Virgin Islands.
Immediately following the quake, a 12 to 16 ft tsunami rushed ashore going several kilometers inland killing 1600-1800 people. More than 2500 people were killed in this disaster.
A small tsunami was also recorded by tide gauges at San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bermuda and in the United States at Daytona Beach, Florida and Atlantic City, New Jersey.