Emile A. Okal

Field survey of the 1946 tsunami in the Marquesas: Interview of a witness.

Nahoe, Hiva Oa, 31 July 2000.

Interviewing Mrs. Catherine Barsinas, 64, a witness of the damage wrought on the Island of Hiva Oa by the large 1946 Aleutian tsunami. The witness has led us along the road up the valley to the exact limit of inundation by the wave. The distance to the shore (328 m) and altitude (6.7 m) of this location are then measured using surveying methods, and become elements of the run-up and inundation database which will allow us to model the generation and propagation of the tsunami across the Pacific Ocean.

From left to right: Daniel Rousseau (Summer Intern, University of Southern California) recording the interview on video tape; Mrs. Barsinas; Professor Costas Synolakis (University of Southern California) taking GPS measurements; Professor Emile Okal (Northwestern University) leading the interview; Mr. Barsinas; Dr. Gérard Guille (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, France).