Tsunami Watch Canceled for Hawaii

Nov 15, 2006 07:56 AM

(KHNL) A tsunami watch has been cancelled for the state of Hawaii.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued the watch early Wednesday morning, following an 7.8 earthquake near Japan.

The earthquake hit about 245 miles east of the Kuril islands, about 990 miles northeast of Tokyo.

State Adjutant General Robert Lee spoke to KHNL News 8 by phone on Wednesday morning, to give an update on the situation in our islands.

Angela: Boy, it's been a busy morning for you folks.

State Adjutant General Lee: Yes, it's a busy morning, but I like the good news a lot better. Since we were placed under a tsunami watch with earthquake in the Kuril islands, much earlier in the morning, and the pacific tsunami warning center has just issued a cancellation. For the tsunami watch, and the state of hawaii is not in danger, however, there is a bit of caution because earlier this morning, about 7:20 to 9 am, we may see some slight increases in sea level changes, or some stronger currents during that time period.

Angela: So any mariners, surfers, may want to be careful if they're going out in the water.

State Adjutant General Lee: Absolutely, and I think Oahu Civil Defense will take a little stronger measures by closing the beaches, from what I understand and that's their call. But statewide, we're asking all the surfers, boaters and swimmers to exercise extreme caution during that time period

Angela: Major General Lee, what went into effect this morning? Did you get a call at a certain time?

State Adjutant General Lee: Oh yes, I got a call very early in the morning, and a small staff assembled, and we started observing the data that came into the pacific tsunami warning center from a couple of places in Hokkaido, Japan, Russia, the folks that would be experiencing any type of tsunami from this earthquake. And the news was all good, that the waves were real small.

Angela: well, what kinds of things can we remind people to do now that the tsunami alert has been called off. What is it that we do.

State Adjutant General Lee: First of all, make sure that you know if you're in the tsunami inundation zone at all and that you need to evacuate, if the sirens were to be sounded. And you can find that in your phone book, and if required to evacuate, you know what to do. For example if you're in a high rise, get up to a higher floor, and you just need to get above 50 feet sea level to be safe. We're trying to minimize traffic, congestion along the roads, especially coastal roads.

Angela: Any advice that you'd like to give us this morning?

State Adjutant General Lee: Again, another reason to make sure you have your emergency preparedness kit water food, flashlights, transister radios, etc.