Rabaul 11-foot Tsunami July, August 1971 – Photos from George Oakes

George Oakes writes:
“This took place in July/August 1971. There were a lot of earthquakes at the same time. As I understand it, the tsunami was caused by a submarine landslide in the Solomon Sea to the SE of Rabaul. The water in the harbour started rising about lunch time and rose to about 11 feet above normal tide level, then started to recede to about 11 feet below normal tide level. It then came in again to a lesser height (about 10 feet) and so on. This cycle from the highest point to the next highest point took approximately 1.5 hours. This backwards and forwards motion continued into the night until the sea settled back to normal.”

George was born in Rabaul in 1934 and joined what became DDA in 1954. He later transferred to Business Development as Principal Finance Officer and departed PNG in 1975. Postings included Mendi, Lumi, Nuku, Pomio, Kokopo, Rabaul, Lae, and Port Moresby.


Worked for Burns Philp in Popondetta and Port Moresby from 1980 through 1987

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