Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
The Big Island of Hawaii exhaled at 1:30 p.m., breathing a collective sigh of relief after it became clear that the worst of the tsunami had passed.
As all the county’s emergency personnel gathered in Hilo at the Civil Defense headquarters to join the state and its other counties via teleconference, the “all clear” was given. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the Tsunami Warning.
Although the thousands who lined the mauka streets, a safe distance from the forecasted waves, packed it up and left without witnessing any catastrophe, there technically was a tsunami event. Cameras by the famous Coconut Island showed rushing surges of water in and out of the bay, and the nearby Wailoa River emptied and filled (video of that event is on the way.) No damage was reported.
The mayor held this quick press conference outside the civil defense headquarters after the “all clear” was given.
Although the danger has passed, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center will continue to monitor the situation.
Final Civil Defense message, posted by 2:30 pm:
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled the Tsunami warning for the island of Hawaii. Based on available data the tsunami threat to the island of Hawaii has ended. Beach parks, however, will remain closed for the remainder of day due to continued tidal surges. Beach parks will open tomorrow. The Department of Environmental Management will maintain the closure of all county landfills and solid waste transfer stations for the remainder of the day. However, the Department of Environmental Management will be opening all solid waste transfer stations tomorrow. Normal station hours will return on Monday, March 1st. The Department of Water Supply has resumed service to all customers. Hilo International Airport is open. Travelers who missed their flights due the closure of the airport are asked to contact their airline for alternate travel arrangements. Again, the Tsunami Warning for the State of Hawaii has been cancelled. All beach parks will remain closed today, but reopen tomorrow. Landfills and solid waste transfer stations will remain closed, but all will be open tomorrow with normal hours to resume Monday, March 1st. The Department of Water Supply has resumed water supply to all customers. Hilo Airport is open, travelers who missed their flights should contact their airlines for alternate travel arrangements. Hawaii County Civil Defense would like to thank the residents and visitors of Hawaii Island for their cooperation and patience through this event. Thank you and have a safe day. This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense.