HILO, Hawaii – Minor surge was visible at the Wailoa Small Boat Harbor in Hilo early Thursday morning, as the first effects of the Tsunami Advisory were scheduled to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands.
A magnitude 8.3 earthquake hit Chile on Wednesday afternoon, triggering a Tsunami Watch. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) deduced that a tsunami was generated but the impacts to Hawaii were not expected to be substantial. No warning was issued.
Hawaii was prepared to see the first effects at 3:11 a.m. HST in the form of sea level changes and strong currents.
The PTWC says the tide was measured at 2.5 feet above sea level in Hilo, and later 3.2 feet.
While at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor this morning, a handful of onlookers watched the small tidal surges with relief.
The tidal fluctuations could be a hazard to swimmers and boaters, officials say, 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.
“The situation is being monitored closely,” PTWC reported, “and the advisory will end when the hazard has passed.”