What you need to know before and after a tsunami event occurs

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Officials say the tsunami watch that has been cancelled on Thursday is a good reminder for Hawaii residents to stay prepared for potential natural disasters.

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The state of Hawaii was put under a tsunami watch on Thursday morning following a 8.1 magnitude earthquake near New Zealand. That tsunami watch was cancelled by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center around 12:30 p.m.

The Department of Defense provides these details about a tsunami:

  • A tsunami is a series of ocean wave masses generated primarily by earthquakes.
  • Underwater volcanic eruptions and landslides can also generate tsunamis.
  • It is difficult to predict a tsunami, the public are urged to prepare for an event with little warning.
  • Tsunamis can strike year-round and during any time of the day or night.

Here’s what to know before a tsunami event occurs:

  • If there is a tsunami warning, evacuate your house or place of work for higher ground if you are in a tsunami evacuation zone.
  • If you are near the ocean and you feel the earth shake, move immediately to higher ground.
  • If you are unable to quickly leave the tsunami evacuation zone, find a Structural steel or reinforced concrete buildings of ten or more stories and go to the fourth floor or higher; this is called vertical evacuation.
  • Know where your county’s Safe Zones or Refuge Centers are located. This is where people who have evacuated coastal areas can safely stay during a tsunami.

Here’s what to know after a tsunami event occurs:

  • Tsunamis often come in multiple waves over a period of hours. Resist the temptation to watch the waves, especially if the water seems to draw back, exposing the ocean floor.
  • Return home only after authorities say it is safe to do so. Not only could there be hazards and debris in certain areas, but roads may still need to be clear for rescue and recovery efforts.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate – but only when the surroundings are safe.

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