KENNEWICK -- Mike Ashman of Kennewick remembers seeing first-hand the effects of a Hawaiian tsunami in 1957.
It wasn't the first or the last tsunami that Ashman said he saw in the years while he and his family lived on the islands of Kauai and Lanai.
But it is the one preserved in a black and white photo showing his three children, Lynne, Michael and Bill, standing near a stranded boat and among flopping fish near Manele Bay on Lanai.
That's the photo Ashman unearthed after hearing about last week's tsunami that hit Hawaii after the earthquake in Japan.
Ashman, 89, said he knew his wife Doris and their family were safe to take a quick photo in 1957 because the tsunami wave was hitting the north end of Lanai, and they were on the south end.
The tsunami that hit the Hawaiian Islands on March 9, 1957, was caused by an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands that measured around 8.3. The quake triggered a 24-foot tsunami, although the tallest wave that hit Hawaii was about 12 feet.
No one was killed in Hawaii from the tsunami, but it did cause about $5 million in damage.
As the tsunami passed Lanai, Ashman said it slurped out water from the sheltered Manele Bay, where he and his family were, and occasionally sent back some inch-high waves.
Where his children stood normally would have been under water, Ashman said. The sea level would have been over the children's heads if not for the tsunami.
Ashman said he and his wife moved to Kennewick in 2003 to be closer to their daughter, Lynne Hartz, who lives in Prosser.
Bill now lives in San Jose Calif., and Michael still lives in Hawaii on Maui, he said.
Like the Ashman family was in 1957, Michael, was out of the immediate path of the recent tsunami in his home on a mountain, Ashman said.
* Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; firstname.lastname@example.org