Tsunami Warning in Hawaii People Urged to Move to Higher Ground

Christine Nyholm's picture

A tsunami warning has been issued for all the coasts of Hawaii, as an aftereffect of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Chili in the early morning hours of February 27, 2010. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a warning that the first tsunami waves are expected to reach Hawaii at 11:19 Pacific Standard Time, which is 4:19 EST.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is calling for urgent action to protect lives and property in Hawaii. There is also a tsunami warning for the coast of California and Alaska, but the warning is at a lower level than the warning for Hawaii.

According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, tsunamis that affect Hawaii originate from distant sources where tectonic plates are in collision. A tsunami that originates in Chile takes about ten hours to get to Hawaii.

Officials in Hawaii will sound the warning whistles at about 6:00 AM Pacific Time. People in areas that are predicted to be high risk will be urged to leave their homes and business and move to higher ground, or evacuate to safety. The tsunami should reach Hawaii at about 11:19 AM PST. The tsunami could cause damage to property along coastlines of all islands in the State of Hawaii. Urgent action is being taken to protect lives and property in Hawaii.

A tsunami is a series of long ocean waves. Each individual wave crest can last 5 to 15 minutes and flood coastal areas. The danger can continue for many hours after the initial wave. The height of the tsunami waves cannot be predicted and the first wave may not be the largest. Tsunami waves can wrap around islands, so all shores are at risk no matter which direction they face. Debris picked up and carried by the tsunami wave can increase the destructive power of the wave.

Resource: Pacific Tsunami Service

Earthquake in Chile

Written by Christine Nyholm

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