The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirms there is NO tsunami threat to Hawaii following an 8.1-magnitude earthquake off Mexico.
The temblor occurred at 6:49 p.m. HST off the coast of Chiapas and was followed by several aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 4 to 5.
Most tsunamis that we have seen historically have been from South America near Chile, which is very active, and from areas such as Japan and the Aleutian Islands.
In situations like this, we often have to wait for more data from the buoys to determine the threat to Hawaii, which is also what happened in this case.
The PTWC said it was evaluating the threat, and gave the all-clear at 8:24 p.m.
“We know from past history and past models that quakes in this area tend to send their energy down to the south, so we were hopeful we wouldn’t have a threat in Hawaii,” said Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. “But we can’t tell until we make measurements and use our models with the seismic analysis to get a forecast all around the Pacific and Hawaii. That’s why it took us an hour and a half before we could tell Hawaii, you’re in the all clear. We were hopeful that we wouldn’t have a threat here in Hawaii but we won’t know until we make measurements on our gauges. Really only a few times each century you have the really big quakes that can cause something to come up to Hawaii and possibly cause damage here.”
View our full interview with McCreery below or click here on mobile.
Editor’s Note: The PTWC lists the earthquake as being magnitude 8.2, however, we are referencing the U.S. Geological Survey, which measures the earthquake at 8.1.