Early this morning an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 originated near the central coast of Chile. Due to the proximity of the epicenter, tsunami warnings have been issued in the Pacific area, including Hawaii. Tsunami wave activity is being recorded and monitored by the National Weather Service (NOAA) which issued the following statement:
“A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE ALONG COASTLINES OF ALL ISLANDS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. URGENT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.
A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF LONG OCEAN WAVES. EACH INDIVIDUAL WAVE CREST CAN LAST 5 TO 15 MINUTES OR MORE AND EXTENSIVELY FLOOD COASTAL AREAS. THE DANGER CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE AS SUBSEQUENT WAVES ARRIVE. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST. TSUNAMI WAVES EFFICIENTLY WRAP AROUND ISLANDS. ALL SHORES ARE AT RISK NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION THEY FACE. THE TROUGH OF A TSUNAMI WAVE MAY TEMPORARILY EXPOSE THE SEAFLOOR BUT THE AREA WILL QUICKLY FLOOD AGAIN. EXTREMELY STRONG AND UNUSUAL NEARSHORE CURRENTS CAN ACCOMPANY A TSUNAMI. DEBRIS PICKED UP AND CARRIED BY A TSUNAMI AMPLIFIES ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER. SIMULTANEOUS HIGH TIDES OR HIGH SURF CAN SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE TSUNAMI HAZARD.
THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME IN HAWAII OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS 1119 AM HST moved up to 1105 AM HST SAT 27 FEB 2010 MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.”
A list of frequently asked questions for tsunami awareness and safety can be found at the NOAA website.
The Hawaii County Civil Defense alerted residents this morning at 1:oo am HST through the Tsunami Warning System urging residents to stay tuned to their local radio station for updates. More information can be found at the Pacific Disaster Center Tsunami Evacuation Zones official website.
If you are located on a coastal area of the Pacific Ocean, tune in to your local news channels or radios for the latest warnings and statements from the National Weather Service. Stay calm and follow the directions of officials in your area.
Have someone in Chile you are concerned about? Good Morning America provided the following State Department phone number: 1-888-407-4747
If you are in the Hawaii area and have updated information, please leave a comment and/or links to assist others. Thank you!
This site is not an official government notification site but provides content for informational purposes. We urge you to verify all tsunami warnings and evacuations through your local government and emergency services departments. All information contained is from official sites in the public domain.
Follow Updates from residents live on twitter: #hitsunami