On this day: the 1868 Arica earthquake

On the 13th of August, 1868, a magnitude 8.5 or 9 earthquake near Arica, Peru (now Chile) killed more than 25 000 people and destroyed much of the southern part of the country.

Arica after the earthquake (1868)

Damage in Arica in 1868

The tsunami(s) that followed crossed the Pacific Ocean and had effects as far away as Australia and Japan.

USS Wateree (1863) beached at Arica after she was deposited there by a tidal wave on 13 August 1868. Her iron hull was reasonably intact but salvage was not economical and she was sold where she lay.

USS Wateree beached in Arica

The tsunami drove three ships, two of them US ships, 800 metres inland, and did significant damage both in New Zealand (where it also killed one person) and Hawaii.

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