a bite-sized podcast about Newfoundland

Episode 4: The 1929 Tidal Wave In Burin, Newfoundland

On November 18, 1929, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 occurred on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, about 400 kilometers off shore. It was felt as far away as New York City and Montreal. Newfoundland itself did not have a seismograph or tide gauge which could have warned of the tsunami. Earthquakes are so rare in Newfoundland that people were very frightened and not sure what to think when furniture shook and dishes came crashing off of shelves. The tremors were reported to have lasted 5 minutes. Some people thought it might have been an explosion nearby. But they didn’t know the worst was yet to come.

Final list of victims, via Alan Ruffman (link below in sources)

Photos from the disaster:

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Most of the photographs are courtesy of the Provincial Archives, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (http://www.therooms.ca/archives/)


Dimmer Residence (Fox Cove)

The Dimmer Residence is a landmark structure in the community of Fox Cove, the oldest dwelling and one of the few to survive the tidal wave that hit the Burin Peninsula in 1929.

Here is the link to the letter written by Ern Cheeseman to his brother in St. John’s.

A short documentary about the disaster:


  1. Allan Ruffman’s detailed report
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Grand Banks site
  4. Canada History & Mysteries
  5. Natural Resources Canada
  6. Heritage Newfoundland and Labrador
  7. SOS Canadian Disasters
  8. SeniorsNL

Next week’s episode is a MUCH lighter topic, I promise!

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