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Feb 27, 2010: State of Hawaii Tsunami Warning Day

Posted in 1, News by msdisdain on February 27, 2010

Hawaii & The Pacific Currently Under Tsunami Warning

A devastating earthquake hit Chile yesterday, February 26, 2010 killing an estimated 122 people.  The quake, measuring at 8.8 magnitude, triggered a tsunami wave that put parts of the Pacific including Hawaii, American Samoa and Guam under warning with waves estimated to hit at 1119 Pacific standard time Saturday, February 27, 2010 on the shores of Hilo Bay.  Scientists have recorded the wave passing through the Galapagos, French Polynesia and most recently the Marquesas Islands, where it measured close to 1.9 meters.  Honolulu is most likely to be least affected; however a close watch is being kept on Hilo on island of Hawai’i, where a tsunami triggered also by an earthquake measuring 9.5 in magnitude in 1960 killed over 50 people. All coastal areas of each island are under warning, roads in the inundation zone will be closed beginning 10AM PST.  The Governor issued a statement this morning declaring a state of emergency in anticipation of what Hawaii may face due to an issue regarding closing sewage pumping stations among other possible infrastructure problems.  Acting Honolulu Mayor has asked folks to limit water, electricity and phone use as well as limiting discretionary cartrips to give emergency personnel freer-flowing abilities to reach any affected areas.  Also keep in mind that if you cannot evacuate to higher ground, evacuate vertically (above the third floor).  Coastal areas have been evacuated as of 933AM and everyone appears to be sitting tight and waiting.

Tsunami is Hawai’i’s #1 natural disaster killer because there is generally a low level of public understanding of destructive potential.  The groups at the highest risks are surfers, spectators and boaters; a lot of uninformed surfers think this is a perfect time to catch a wave.  Tsunami waves are not surfable waves; they are more like quick and sharp tidal shifts bringing a river of water and all accompanying debris inland at various but dangerous speeds for pedestrians.  Surges last between three to five minutes.  The waters begin to recede and the process repeats itself for a series of potentially devastating tidal surges.  The waves, roughly 20 minutes apart, could continue through the afternoon, and forecasters are looking at a wave of potentially six feet in height.  But what does that mean if you were in Hilo Bay?  The sea level rapidly rises in a flash flood effect; the waves can be full of debris that can be more damaging than the water itself.  A two to three foot wave can easily knock someone off his/her feet and carry debris.  Tsunami waves come from a line source (a fault) with a series of parallel waves that conserve their energy across the entire Pacific basin.  One part of it will be very large, and Hawaii is on the edge of it.  Thanks, Dr. Becker.  The sirens are going off again.

News Coverage of the Tsunami Warning:

***For friends and family away from the 808:***

Stay up to date without clogging the phone lines by watching livestreams of Hawaii news at:

While nothing epically dangerous is likely to happen, especially in the highest-populated areas of Honolulu, two things protect the importance of civil defense and emergency preparedness:  1)  the state of Hawai’i, like any area under a state of emergency, is under tight scrutiny from national and international audiences in light of increased natural disasters and former failures in system wide emergency preparedness.  Now a hot topic and economic trend, emergency preparedness has within its own markets quite a competition in light of these increased dangers and unchecked systems.  Hawai’i has the expectation despite the angst to implement a system-wide emergency prepardness test in light of a very real natural disaster with an unpredictable outcome.

2)  The second is a lot simpler.  There isn’t the need to mess with Mother Earth.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, friends.  This is a great time for the state to test a system, whose advances in technology since the last disaster have increased exponentially.  One would hope the larger population would agree to listen to authorities, get safe and chill out for the day if not for the natural disaster, for our ability to test a system that hasn’t been tested since the 1960s.  What hit American Samoa in recent past resulted from a lack of emergency preparedness.  We have an obligation to our people to handle situations as best as known possible and as systematically as possible.  We are hooking our future self up in light of the facts that natural disasters have increased and increased in intensity.  Our new age human will have to understand the mechanisms of accountability in safety and self-awareness.  We live in different times.  And while my uncle will probably be right in saying “nothing or nobody will stop me from my day” before leaving to go god-knows-where to carry on with business as usual, I can’t help but ask that everyone be safe just in case…and throw a tsunami party with your emergency grum and liquers!

February 27, 2010

Update:

  • 145PST Tsunami warning canceled and roads are beginning to open…
  • I am amazed at my ability to “monitor the situation” via web technology & social media.  So different from recent times past!  Regardless of the size of this thing, it’s quite an awesome adventure to witness from 5,000 some odd miles away!  Thanks to all the friends and local media outlets who have kept us updated via the web, facebook and twitter!  Keeping all of the kama’aina transplants at ease and proud of the emergency preparedness (or pissed because it was blown out of proportion) of our Hawai’i Nei.
  • 1211PM PST  The Alawai is surging, eww!
  • 1206PM PST Waters have begun receding and surging off the coasts of Hilo, O’ahu and Maui.  It is currently moving up the island chain and has reached Barber’s Point, O’ahu by now.  The arrival times are about right and the wave heights are about expected.  We just heard it’s at one meter in Kahului Harbor right now paralleling Hilo’s first surge.  Resonant harbors receive larger waves than usual.  Hilo, Kahului, Hale’iwa and Hanalei are types of resonant bays across the island change and are reporting as predicted.  Obviously, no damage at this point.  Things are changing minute by minute.  The surges appear to be gaining power and lasting longer indicating the start of the tsunami event.
  • 1158PM PST   Hilo Bay waters receding!  The levels are rising.  That bridge is 10ft tall.

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2 Responses

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  1. LG 32LH30 said, on February 27, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    I pray for those that go through this hardship

  2. jjoshuajj21 said, on February 28, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    I agree, but the USGS needs to explain why their 3 meter prediction was inaccurate; because, people won’t believe them, next time, and that may be when the “Big-One” shows up >>> http://worldresarchnews.wordpress.com/ <<<<


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