The highest runup values of 6 meters, 4.5
meters, and 5.2 meters occurred at Point Agujereada, Point Borinquen,
and Point Jiguero, respectively. This makes sense, as these locations
are closest to the earthquakes epicenter, and probable tsunami
source. Point Borinquen is a topographically low-lying area,
and as a result the tsunami inundation reached as far as 100
meters inland. At Point Aguereada, the tsunami destroyed many
houses, and killed eight people.
The area surrounding Aguadilla, also located
in the northwestern corner of the island, was hit hardest by
the tsunami. Though the runup values here of 2.4 to 3.4 meters,
were not as great as those elsewhere, the 4 meter waves wiped
out a village of huts located along the beach, killing 32 people.
The tsunami was also powerful enough to carry several 1000 kilogram
limestone blocks up to 75 meters inland from their original location.
At the city of Mayaguez a tsunami runup
of 1.5 meters flooded the lower floors of waterfront buildings,
and destroyed several native huts located near the shore (see
the photographs below). On Mona Island the tsunami generated
a four meter runup, destroying a pier. The town of Isabella,
located on the northern shore of Puerto Rico just beyond Point
Borinquen, reported a 2 meter runup.
Additional runup data from locations along
Puerto Rico's northern and southern shores, indicate that the
tsunami's energy decreased rapidly with distance form the source
area. Boqueron, located near the southwestern corner of Puerto
Rico, received only one meter waves. Guanica, located on the
southern shore, and Isla Caja de Muertos, located just south
of the southern coast, received only 0.5 and 1.5 meters of runup,
respectively. At Arecibo, located on the northern shore, the
runup was only a maximum of 60 centimeters. The tsunami was not
even noticed in San Juan Harbor.
Please click on the photos below for an
illustration of damage from the 1918 tsunami.