Updated tsunami evacuation maps for Maui County released

WAILUKU, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Maui County Civil Defense Agency today announced that Maui County's tsunami evacuation maps have recently been updated based on newly-released scientific data, and urged all Maui County residents to review the new evacuation maps.

The updated maps include expanded evacuation areas in Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina, as well as maps for Kahakuloa Village and Keanae, which had not previously been mapped.

"Please check the updated maps carefully because they mean that some households that were not instructed to evacuate during past tsunami warnings may now be included in the evacuation zone," Mayor Alan Arakawa advised. "This new information will help us as a community to be better prepared for a tsunami, and I encourage everyone to share these maps with family, friends and neighbors."

Civil Defense Emergency Management Officer Anna Foust explained that the new evacuation maps were based on the latest scientific modeling done by UH geophysicists. "The new inundation models take into account the bathymetry, or topography, of the ocean floor around our islands and how that impacts the tsunami wave as it reaches the shoreline," Foust said. "Based on this information, our staff worked closely with the County's emergency management partners and with our first-responder community to develop the new evacuation zones. Until the maps can be included in next year's phone books, we are encouraging the public to visit the website to review the recent changes to the evacuation maps."

Staff from the Maui County Civil Defense Agency will be scheduling community meetings in each district to introduce the maps and talk to residents about the recent changes and how they can prepare for a tsunami and other hazards. Details on scheduled community meetings will be released at a later date.

To access the updated maps, visit the Civil Defense webpage on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov/CivilDefense and click on "Tsunami Evacuation Maps" on the left menu bar.

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