Tsunami advisory for Hawaii has been lifted

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled a tsunami advisory for the state of Hawaii at 7:26 a.m. Wednesday.

Officials say smaller sea level changes and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours and appropriate caution should be exercised.

The agency also made note that swimmers and boaters should still be cautious of lingering unusual currents.

Ocean Safety officials have completed an assessment of conditions and report nothing unusual and all county beach parks are open.

Measurements of tsunami wave activity (7:26A)

Gauge Location LAT LON Time Amplitude Period
——————- ———– —– ————— —–
HANALEI HI 22.2N 159.5W 1559Z 0.15M / 0.5FT 14MIN
BARBERS PT HI 21.3N 158.1W 1428Z 0.03M / 0.1FT 22MIN
KAHULUI MAUI 20.9N 156.5W 1514Z 0.52M / 1.7FT 18MIN
WAIANAE HI 21.4N 158.2W 1503Z 0.06M / 0.2FT 12MIN
NAWILIWILI HI 22.0N 159.4W 1422Z 0.02M / 0.1FT 24MIN
HALEIWA HI 21.6N 158.1W 1426Z 0.11M / 0.4FT 14MIN
HILO HI 19.7N 155.1W 1438Z 0.58M / 1.9FT 16MIN
HONUAPO HI 19.1N 155.6W 1436Z 0.04M / 0.1FT 08MIN
HONOKOHAU HI 19.7N 156.0W 1405Z 0.06M / 0.2FT 12MIN
KAPOHO HI 19.5N 154.8W 1342Z 0.13M / 0.4FT 14MIN
:

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 1:47 p.m., an earthquake occurred  off the coast of northern Chile with an 8.2 moment measurement.

At 5:45 p.m., the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami advisory for the state of Hawaii. Officials said based on all available data a major tsunami was not expected to strike, however sea level changes and strong currents could occur along all coasts that could be a hazard to swimmers and boaters as well as to persons near the shore at beaches and in harbors and marinas.

The Honolulu Dept. of Emergency Management advised swimmers, boaters and beach goers to stay out of the ocean and away from immediate shorelines between 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Wednesday, and stay away from streams and canals that feed directly from the ocean. Boaters should exercise caution entering and exiting harbors.

“The waves are not going to be big enough to require evacuation, however we’re worried there may be dangerous currents so we want people off the beach and out of the water,” said Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. “The wave action will be pretty modest, probably maybe a foot, maybe a little bit more, however, what we’re really worried about are currents, and occasionally, you get a larger wave and it sweeps up the beach. If you’re not ready for it, you could get into difficulty.

“We’re pretty sure the waves aren’t going to be large enough to cause any flooding, so they’re not going to go inland” Fryer added. “The hazard is strictly on the beach. That’s it.”

Read more: Satellites improve technology for tsunami center


PTWC’s near real-time animation for the tsunami from northern Chile on 1 April 2014 resulting from an offshore 8.2 magnitude earthquake in the region. The animation shows simulated tsunami wave propagation for 30 hours followed by an “energy map” showing the maximum open-ocean wave heights over that period.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center estimated the advisory could be in effect until 8 a.m. Wednesday. The center said if tsunami waves impact Hawaii, their estimated earliest arrival time would be 3:24 a.m.

As a precaution, counties across the state announced beach closures for Wednesday, including Hanauma Bay on Oahu, a move Fryer supports. “It’s particularly dangerous setting because people go snorkeling over the reef,” he said. “It’s only a few feet of clearance and if there’s a slight variation in water level, they can get scraped up and banged up pretty badly.”

The Maui County Civil Defense Agency said its beaches would be closed until 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 2. The County of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency is also closing all county beach parks until 8 a.m., April 2, to insure the safety of all beachgoers.

Read more: Sea changes could be dangerous to swimmers, boaters

The earthquake occurred off the coast of northern Chile, 61 miles northwest of Iquique. It’s an area that has been rocked by numerous quakes over the past two weeks.

Aftershocks followed, including a magnitude-6.2 tremor and a 5.5 quake, setting off a small tsunami that forced evacuations along the country’s entire Pacific coast.

Updated earthquake map: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Chile’s interior minister said the death toll has risen to five. The quake forced evacuations along the country’s entire Pacific coast for fear of tsunamis. Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo attributed the five deaths to heart attacks or being crushed. Thousands lost power, and hundreds of thousands of Chileans spent the night away from their beds due to the evacuation order. Waves measuring almost 2 meters (6 ½ feet) struck ahead of a tsunami that was expected to come ashore later.

Read more: 5 dead as magnitude-8.2 quake hits northern Chile

U.S. officials say they’ve found no threat of a tsunami along the coasts of Alaska, California, Oregon or Washington. Bill Knight, a scientist at the National Tsunami Warning Center, says early data show that by the time waves generated by Tuesday night’s magnitude-8.2 quake reach the West Coast, they’ll be too small to pose any threat.

Emergency operations centers in all four counties were in communication throughout the day via video conference, and sent out their own alerts after the advisory was issued.

Several members of State Civil Defense were in Hilo Tuesday for the anniversary of tsunami that occurred on April 1, 1946.

The Hawaii Dept. of Transportation says if a tsunami warning, not a watch, is issued, the Coast Guard will issue evacuation warnings to boaters, and harbor masters will clear the harbors of commercial ships.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the quake at 8.0, but later upgraded the magnitude.

When no major waves are observed for two hours after the estimated time of arrival or damaging waves have not occurred for at least two hours then local authorities can assume the threat is passed. Danger to boats and coastal structures can continue for several hours due to rapid currents. As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action, the all-clear determination must be made by local authorities.

Emergency operating centers for four Hawaii counties in a teleconference at Hawaii State Civil Defense headquarters.
blog comments powered by Disqus