There is no tsunami season like there is for hurricanes—be prepared, 1960/today.

Tsunami Awareness Month.

Advertiser_5_24_1960_3

Honolulu Advertiser, 140th Year, Number 35,0002, Page 3. May 24, 1960.

HONOLULU — Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) is encouraging the public to take tsunami preparedness into their own hands this April during Tsunami Awareness Month. Seventy years ago, on April 1, 1946, one of the deadliest tsunamis to ever hit Hawaii caused widespread devastation on all islands. Generated by an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands, the massive tsunami took 159 lives and caused more than $26 million in damage. April was chosen as the month to honor and remember the lives lost in all tsunamis to hit the state.

Due to Hawaii’s location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we are extremely vulnerable to the threat of tsunamis. Distantly generated tsunamis can reach Hawaii within several hours and are triggered by earthquakes that take place along the Ring of Fire, which circles the Pacific Rim. Locally generated tsunamis are caused by earthquakes or volcanic activity that occur in or near the Hawaiian Islands, and can make landfall in a matter of minutes.

“There is no season for tsunamis,” said Vern Miyagi, Administrator of Emergency Management. “During a tsunami threat, people only have hours – sometimes minutes – to move to safety. For this reason, it is crucial that families and individuals have their survival kits ready ahead of time and emergency plans up to date so they can quickly respond and react in a safe and efficient manner.”

For distantly generated tsunamis, outdoor warning sirens will sound statewide. For locally generated tsunamis, however, there may not be sufficient time to sound sirens. If you are near the ocean when an earthquake takes place, immediately move to higher ground. Upon hearing any warning sirens, the public should tune immediately to a radio or television for updates and the latest information. Additionally, everyone should be able to recognize the natural warning signs that a tsunami may be imminent. Signs include: rapidly rising or receding water from the ocean; the sound of a locomotive or jet plane coming from the ocean; and empty beaches.

People located within a tsunami evacuation zone should quickly move to higher ground, or inland until they are at least 100 feet above sea level, while avoiding steep cliffs and watching for falling rocks. To find out if you live, work or play within a tsunami evacuation zone, turn to the disaster preparedness pages in your local telephone book or enter your address into the Tsunami Evacuation Zone Map Viewer on HI-EMA’s website at www.scd.hawaii.gov.

On Saturday, April 16, the Pacific Tsunami Museum (PTM) in Hilo will host an open house event with free admission to the public. During the event, PTM will unveil its brand new Science Room, which features an interactive Warning Center Simulation, among other activities. The Simulation allows guests to jump on a world map and generate an earthquake. From there, the player is faced with several questions that give them a taste of the various factors considered by the real Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) before making critical decisions, such as issuing a tsunami warning. PTM is a is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tsunami awareness and education through a combination of science, history and personal accounts. For more information about the open house, call 808-935-0926.

HI-EMA is also releasing a series of public service announcements, which were produced by partners within the State Department of Defense’s Public Affairs Office with the assistance of PTWC (operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and PTM. The series provides background information about the science behind tsunamis and warning along with helpful tips about how to prepare and respond. Links to video spots can be found below:

 

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Media Contact:

Galen Yoshimoto
Public Information Officer
808-733-4300 or 808-620-5408
askcivildefense@scd.hawaii.gov

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Earthquake, eruption, and tsunami, 151 years ago, 1868.

New letters from Kau, Hawaii.

O Kuokoa Newspaper; Aloha oe:

Along with our ohana from Hawaii to Niihau; I am your friend living in distress, as my feet stand precariously at the edge of the pit of calamity. Continue reading

History of volcanic activities and why the newspapers need to be rescanned as clearly as possible, 1868–for the present, for the future.

[Found under: “Ke Ahi Pele Nui ma Hawaii. NA OLAI KUPINAI. KE KAI HOEE NUI! MAKE WELIWELI MA KAU! Na Palapala a na Makamaka mai Hawaii mai, eia iho malalo:”]

On Thursday at 3 in the afternoon, that being the 2nd of this April, there came a great powerful earthquake, and people could not stand upright, and so too the animals. The soil of the earth spew up into the sky like smoke and hills tumbled down; large trees fell, and some of the valleys were filled, and houses fell; the number of houses which fell numbered 30 or more; and 3 churches fell, the churches of Kahuku and Waiohinu and Punaluu; and there is a large pit at Kahuku that is 80 feet in circumference and 350 feet or more deep, and from within this pit rose steam like the steam of the volcanic crater; the distance from the port of Kaalualu to this pit is 6 miles or so; and there are many other deeds carried out by God. Continue reading

More on art by Nawahi, 1877.

From the Pen of the Hon. J. Nawahi.

Hilo, May 13.—My Dear Whitney, Aloha—It has not been perhaps twelve hours since we met on May 9, and there has arrived fearful news. That being the Tsunami [Kai Hoee] here in Hilo! Here are drawings [paintings?] done right soon after the flooding by the sea which I enclose. [These three pictures of the tsunami exacting its terrible act can be seen in the window of Whitney’s Book Store, Editor.] Continue reading

Tsunami, 1946.

PACIFIC TRAGEDY: THE TIDAL WAVE.

SHOWING A TIDAL WAVE SWEEPING UP THE WAILUKU RIVER: THE WRECKED RAILWAY BRIDGE AT HILO, IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.

A VICTIM OF THE TIDAL WAVE: A MAN (INDICATED BY AN ARROW) TRAPPED ON WRECKAGE IN THE PATH OF THE FLOOD.

A VIEW OF THE MAIN STREET IN HILO LITTERED WITH DEBRIS AFTER IT HAD BEEN SWEPT BY A TIDAL WAVE.

A submarine earthquake in the ocean bed off Alaska created huge tidal waves which swept on to the shores of Alaskan Gulf, Oregon, California, and the Hawaiian Islands on April 1. It was estimated that the waves covered an area of 2500 miles, doing widespread damage and causing the death of some 200 persons. The Scotch Cap lighthouse station at Unimak, in the Aleutians, was destroyed and its crew of ten swept out to sea. At Hilo, in the Hawaiian Islands, the loss of life was particularly heavy, sixty persons out of the ninety-three reported killed being from this area. Altogether 40,000 persons in the Hawaiian Islands applied to the Red Cross for shelter and assistance.

[This was taken from The British Newspaper Archive, another awesome newspaper site online!]

(Illustrated London News, 4/20/1946, p. 14)

IllustratedLondonNews_4_20_1946_14

The Illustrated London News, Number 5583, Volume 208, Page 14. April 20, 1946.

Devastating Tsunami, 1946.

Kai Hoee

When the tsunami [kai hoee] hit, it reached all the large islands of this archipelago. It hit Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii. But the island of Hawaii received the heaviest damages. The tsunami caused damages and took lives on the other islands, but the most severe was on Hawaii Island.

But from the death reports, of all the ethnicities, the Japanese made up most of deaths. On Hawaii Island, there were maybe four of five Hawaiians that died. On Kauai Island, there were many Hawaiians that died, and so too on Oahu and Maui.

A report from West Hawaii said the tsunami reached there as well. Hookena was reached by the tsunami but it probably lives nor houses were damaged. From what witnesses say, the ocean reached the level of the pier of Hookena, but it did not damage buildings. Continue reading

More from Kona and the Deshas, 1943.

Our Day

The Calm Seas of Kona

Fishing is an occupation carried out by Kona men, and in Milolii the women and children take part in this endeavor. The boys and girls of Milolii are totally capable at fishing because they always go out on the canoes to go fishing with their parents. Therefore, in the future, fishing will not disappear from Milolii.

It is a truly simple thing to sell the fish of the fishermen. When a canoe comes in with fish, the peddlers are ready to buy the fish. So the fisherman doesn’t have to bother with selling his fish. In Napoopoo, it is not like Milolii. There, there are a few women who go fishing on canoes and so too of the children. Men are the ones who go fishing.

On last week Thursday, the news was told that there would be a tsunami [kai mimiki] between eleven o’clock and one o’clock in the afternoon. My companion rushed home and made ready to go down to Napoopoo, to our home by the sea there. This beach home was very near the ocean. So we were afraid the house would be lost to the sea. When we arrived at Napoopoo and looked at the ocean, the water was calm like an estuary. There was not a single wave. Therefore, we waited for the water to rise. The water remained calm. And the time it was said that there would be a tsunami passed, and we turned back for Kealakekua.

On Friday, the Rev. Desha along with Mr. and Mrs. Francis Cushingham, Mr. Roy Roberts, and Mr. Peter Hirata went to the Crater. Because of the gasoline shortage, they all went on one car. They went to the YMCA Camp called “Hale Aloha.” There a fine meeting was held, according to my companion. The YMCA is the Christian association of young men. Mr. Cushingham is the head of the Bishop Bank [Panako Pihopa] at Kealakekua; Mr. Roberts is the principal of the high school of Kona, and Mr. Hirata is the principal of Alae School.

(Hoku o Hawaii, 11/17/1943, p. 1)

Ko Maua La

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXVIII, Number 30, Aoao 1. Novemaba 17, 1943.