FORD ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's an international project that has been seven years in the making. On October 1st, it came to fruition.
That's when an upgrade to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center's forecasting and alert system went fully operational. The goal of the new system is to ensure that 46 participating foreign countries have access to the same technology available in the United States.
"They're now receiving the same watches and warning alerts within a few minutes to ten minutes from the PTWC" said Dr. Laura Kong, Director of the International Tsunami Information Center.
The countries all contribute data to the PTWC, which serves as the system hub. From there, information is routed appropriately to countries that may be affected by a seismic event. The countries then gave greater control over what type of warnings they issue to their citizens.
As for Hawaii, the system that is in place will remain in place. "The level of services have already been very high quality, very timely, working closely with the local emergency management agencies, so you should see no differences in those services" said Dr. Kong.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has another momentous occasion on the horizon. In the next few months, all operations will be transferred from Ewa Beach to Ford Island. Currently both centers are up and running.