Nanakuli school learns about tsunami danger - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Nanakuli school learns about tsunami danger

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona speaks to Ka Waihona students. Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona speaks to Ka Waihona students.
Larissa Furtado Larissa Furtado
Kealii Kaanapu Kealii Kaanapu
Manny Mattos Manny Mattos
Gerard Fryer Gerard Fryer

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

NANAKULI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's just a stone's throw from the water's edge. So when waves kick up on the Waianae coast, salt spray's sure to hit Ka Waihona public charter school.

"How many of you saw the tsunami on the video?" asked Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona.

Aiona, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and state Civil Defense used science and stories to warn the students about the dangers of a tsunami.

The assembly Monday kick-started Tsunami Awareness Month that begins April 1.

"Today I learned if other people are going and looking at water receding don't follow them," student Larissa Furtado said.

There are 530 students in Ka Waihona . They practice their evacuation plan four times a year. The principal said they can clear the campus in seven minutes.

"We cross the street then we go up Nanakuli Avenue to Nanakuli High School," student Kealii Kaanapu said.

The tsunami that targeted Hawaii February January 27 triggered a statewide evacuation of inundation zones. Now NOAA and civil defense are taking their warnings to as many schools as they can.

"There's over fourteen DOE schools, that's only DOE, we're not talking charter schools, that are located in tsunami evacuation zones throughout the state. And it's well over 8,000 students," civil defense volunteer Manny Mattos said..

"Even if a school isn't in an evacuation zone, they may well have to deal with kids stuck in the school afterwards because their parents can't get to them," NOAA geophysicist Gerard Fryer said.

The lecture used video from the Samoa tsunami of 2009 to drive home a point...

"Tsunamis give you warnings. You have to recognize the signs," Mattos told the students.

The advice is for everyone.

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