Tsunami keeps state civil defense busy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tsunami keeps state civil defense busy

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - State Civil Defense leaders kept busy on Saturday, working around the clock trying to keep everyone safe.

With a tsunami coming our way, the State Civil Defense activated its Emergency Operating Center at Diamond Head and the governor even issued an emergency proclamation.

It's been about an hour and a half since the first was wave was supposed to hit the Big Island, but Civil Defense officials are still monitoring the situation very closely.

"I think the success that we're going to have in addressing this emergency is really on the shoulders of the people of Hawaii," Governor Linda Lingle said.

"I know the eyes of the world are on Hawaii, right now, it's our chance to show that we have good plans in place," Lingle said.

Since 5:30 this morning, Lingle held a series of teleconferences with every county. There were only a few obstacles, including the closure of Hilo's airport and the road leading to Kahului Airport.

The governor also nearly ordered wastewater treatment plants on Maui and in Honolulu to shutdown.

But as time passed and no threatening waves arrived, those airports became fully functional and the treatment plants remained open.

"It's a great day now that it's over, really had a chance to watch our operation close for the past eight to ten hours and it's given me a great level of confidence," Lingle said.

Civil Defense leaders say we should still be on the lookout for dangerous conditions out at sea.

"We shouldn't rest because that tsunami, distant tsunami threat in Hawaii from a Civil Defense point of view is a 24/7, 365 day potential," State Civil Defense vice director Ed Teixeira said.

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