Recent earthquakes prompt tsunami preparedness reminders

No tsunami threat to Hawaii following recent Pacific Rim earthquakes
Image: Hawaii News Now
Image: Hawaii News Now
Image: HI-EMA
Image: HI-EMA
Image: HI-EMA
Image: HI-EMA

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Recent earthquakes are a good reminder to review tsunami evacuation procedures, officials said.

As rescue efforts continue in southwestern Japan after a pair of earthquakes killed at least 32 people, another powerful 7.8 magnitude quake was felt Saturday in Ecuador.

Officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center say there was no tsunami threat to the Hawaiian Islands.

"We knew right away within the first few minutes that this was not going to present a problem to Hawaii," said Deputy Direction Stuart Weinstein.

Weinstein said it usually doesn't take long to determine if earthquakes along the Pacific Rim will impact the islands. Officials keep a close eye on computer models around-the-clock.

"In general, unless that earthquake magnitude is above an 8, Hawaii probably is not going to experience any destructive waves from it," Weinstein said.

Meanwhile in Hilo, the Pacific Tsunami Museum unveiled its new Science Room exhibit Saturday, which features an interactive Tsunami Warning Center Simulation. Guests are able to jump on a world map and generate an earthquake.

"It's very important to understand the science of tsunamis, but sometimes its hard to just read about it, so we made it really interactive," said Marlene Murray, executive director of Pacific Tsunami Museum.

Although Hawaii residents have no reason to be concerned today, officials say the recent earthquakes are good reminders to have a plan in place.

"Because Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific, we're in the path for most of these ocean crossing destructive tsunamis," said Weinstein.

"As we always say, it's not a matter of if, but when the next tsunami will strike," Murray said.

Click here to view tsunami preparation and safety tips.

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