December 31, 2008 – Pacific Tsunami Museum press release – Hilo, Hawaii
VIDEO by Tim O. Bryan
The Pacific Tsunami Museum opened a new exhibit in December documenting the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. Deemed the deadliest tsunami on record, the exhibit contains survivor stories from Thailand, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka which are featured on touch-screen computer kiosks. The exhibit also features wall displays about the earthquake, the tsunami impact, amazing stories of survival and the recovery effort.
The opening ceremony was emceed by museum Director, Donna Saiki, and included a presentation by Dr. Walter Dudley, scientific advisor to the museum and a University of Hawaii at Hilo oceanographer.
The program’s highlight was a talk by Dwyane Meadows, a marine biologiest with NOAA who told how he survived the tsunami when it crashed ashore and he was washed out to sea at Khao Lak, Thailand.
The team who gathered and assembled the display was headed by the museum’s outreach coordinator Genevieve Robison and included; Dr. Dudley, John Coney and Barbara Muffler. In her invitation to the opening of the exhibit Robison said, “I speak for the team when I say that the creation of this exhibit has been a journey of enlightenment for us – a wonderful experience.”
The exhibit was made possible though contributions from The O’Neil Foundation and the Change Happens Foundation. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Agency for International Development helped defray costs for the on-site interviews with tsunami survivors in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.