UPDATE (4:05 p.m.) – The Hawaii County Civil Defense has issued a message (audio above) alerting the public to the Tsunami Advisory issued for Hawaii following the 8.3 earthquake off Chile. “A tsunami advisory is issued due to the threat of a potential changes in sea levels and strong currents which may be dangerous to those in or near the water,” HCCD says. “Coastal regions historically prone to damage due to strong currents are at the greatest risk. The threat may continue for several hours after the arrival of the initial waves or sea level changes, however significant widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Please monitor local radio broadcasts for additional updates.”
UPDATE (3:55 p.m.) – The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) activated its Emergency Operations Center as of 2:00 p.m., the state reports. “We ask the public to be mindful of their designated tsunami evacuation sites and to stay tuned to radio and TV broadcasts for the latest information and instructions from county officials,” said Vern Miyagi, Administrator of Emergency Management.
The state says sea level changes and strong currents may occur along all coasts and may be a hazard to swimmers and boaters. County governments will release instructions to beachgoers, boaters and other ocean users. Streams and canals that feed into the ocean may also be affected by unusual currents.
HAWAII – Based on all available data a major tsunami is not expected to strike the state of Hawaii following a magnitude 8.3 earthquake off Chile, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) reported in an advisory issued at 3:24 p.m. HST.
Residents of Hawaii still need to exercise caution, however. The PTWC says “sea level changes and strong currents may occur along all coasts that could be a hazard to swimmers and boaters as well as to persons near the shore at beaches and in harbors and marinas. The threat may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.”
Hawaii could start to see the first effects at 3:11 a.m. HST on Thursday, Sept. 17.
The PTWC says further messages will be issued hourly or sooner as conditions warrant until the threat to Hawaii has passed.