Hundreds participate in tsunami evacuation drill on Hawaii island

HILO, Hawaii (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - 700 community volunteers and schoolchildren will participate in a simulated mass evacuation in Keaukaha on Monday, escaping from an imaginary tsunami washing over Hilo.

Department of Transportation's Airports Division will participate in the mock evacuation. The Hilo International Airport will reportedly close its runway between the hours of 11:45 AMand 1:00 PM Monday, in order to test tsunami evacuation procedures for the surrounding community.

"Tsunami evacuations require the highest levels of preparedness from our emergency response personnel, especially for low-lying areas like Keaukaha," said Chauncey Wong-Yuen, Hawaii District Airports Manager. "Exercises like this one will help to ensure that all of our partners will be ready in the event of an actual emergency."

Hundreds of Keaukaha "evacuees" will be escorted across the main runway of the airport to the main terminals and board Hawaii County mass transit for evacuation inland.