Maui News

Major Tsunami Not Expected in Hawaii, Sea Level Changes Forecast

September 16, 2015, 1:15 PM HST
* Updated September 17, 1:23 PM
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UPDATE: 1:05 p.m. 9/17/15: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued its final tsunami message for Hawaii saying that based on all available data, the tsunami threat from yesterday’s 8.3 Chile earthquake has now mostly passed. Any remaining threat will be evaluated by local authorities in impacted areas. Click here for the full update.

UPDATE 7:33 a.m. 9/17/15: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the tsunami advisory that was in effect for the state, ending the advisory at 7:33 a.m.  The agency reported the largest wave to be 3.2 feet, occurring shortly after 4 a.m. in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. In Kahului on Maui a tsunami wave of 1.2 feet was reported at 3:53 a.m.; and a 2.2 foot wave was recorded at 4:35 a.m. according to preliminary data compiled by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Wave activity was occurring in 18 to 22 minute intervals.  Click here for the full update.

Meteorologist Malika Dudley explains the difference between a tsunami watch, advisory and warning.

Click here for information on closures in coastal areas and beach parks.

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By Wendy Osher

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has issued a Tsunami Advisory for the state effective at 3:23 p.m.  This replaces a Tsunami Watch that was issued earlier this afternoon following an 8.3 (7.9 preliminary magnitude) earthquake at 12:54 p.m. HST on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015 near the coast of Central Chile.

The agency issued a notification saying, “BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A MAJOR TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED TO STRIKE THE STATE OF HAWAII. HOWEVER…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.”

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The estimated time of wave arrival and anticipated effects is 3:06 a.m. HST on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Waves reaching 0.3 to one meter (one to three feet) are possible for Hawaii coastlines.

A Tsunami Advisory is issued when the threat of a tsunami may produce strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or near the water.

“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 following is a list of measurements and reports of tsunami wave activity (compiled by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center) as of 1:11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015:

 GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON    TIME        AMPL         PER
 -------------------  ----- ------  -----  ---------------  -----
 PAPEETE TAHITI       17.5S 149.6W  1041Z   0.10M /  0.3FT  12MIN
 SALINA CRUZ MX       16.2N  95.2W  1017Z   0.22M /  0.7FT  20MIN
 RIKITEA PF           23.1S 135.0W  0930Z   0.34M /  1.1FT  16MIN
 CALLAO LA-PUNTA PE   12.1S  77.2W  0740Z   0.52M /  1.7FT  34MIN
 PURETO ANGEL MX      15.7N  96.5W  0911Z   0.30M /  1.0FT  04MIN
 CHIAPAS MX           14.7N  92.4W  0905Z   0.19M /  0.6FT  26MIN
 NUKU HIVA MARQUESAS   8.9S 140.1W  1006Z   0.68M /  2.2FT  14MIN
 RIKITEA PF           23.1S 135.0W  0908Z   0.33M /  1.1FT  14MIN
 HUATULCO MX          15.8N  96.1W  0809Z   0.18M /  0.6FT  08MIN
 CALDERA CL           27.1S  70.8W  0728Z   1.14M /  3.7FT  18MIN
 VALPARAISO CL        33.0S  71.6W  0044Z   1.78M /  5.8FT  40MIN
 MATARANI PE          17.0S  72.1W  0653Z   0.22M /  0.7FT  20MIN
 JUAN FERNANDEZ       33.6S  78.8W  0038Z   1.21M /  4.0FT  08MIN
 SANTACRUZ GALAPAGOS   0.7S  90.3W  0643Z   0.56M /  1.8FT  12MIN
 DART 43413           10.8N 100.1W  0639Z   0.02M /  0.1FT  40MIN
 DART 32411            5.0N  90.8W  0517Z   0.03M /  0.1FT  48MIN
 EASTER CL            27.2S 109.4W  0505Z   0.83M /  2.7FT  04MIN
 COQUIMBO CL          30.0S  71.3W  0025Z   4.75M / 15.6FT  20MIN
 DART 32402           26.7S  74.0W  2334Z   0.10M /  0.3FT  32MIN
 QUIRIQUINA CL        36.6S  73.1W  0249Z   0.83M /  2.7FT  88MIN
 TALCAHUANO CL        36.7S  73.1W  0253Z   1.30M /  4.3FT  90MIN
 DART 32412           18.0S  86.3W  0146Z   0.05M /  0.2FT  20MIN
 BUCALEMU CL          34.6S  72.0W  0246Z   0.76M /  2.5FT  12MIN
 HUASCO CL            28.5S  71.2W  0106Z   0.77M /  2.5FT  12MIN
 SAN FELIX CL         26.3S  80.1W  0051Z   0.69M /  2.3FT  08MIN
 CONSTITUCION CL      35.4S  72.5W  0124Z   0.88M /  2.9FT  60MIN
 CORRAL CL            39.9S  73.4W  0124Z   0.22M /  0.7FT  34MIN
 TOCOPILLA CL         22.1S  70.2W  0046Z   0.12M /  0.4FT  38MIN
 CHANARAL CL          26.4S  70.6W  0043Z   1.09M /  3.6FT  30MIN
 TALTAL CL            25.4S  70.5W  0018Z   0.25M /  0.8FT  38MIN
 DART 32401           20.5S  73.4W  0020Z   0.06M /  0.2FT  48MIN
 SAN ANTONIO CL       33.6S  71.6W  2358Z   0.86M /  2.8FT  18MIN

According to the USGS, the quake was centered:

  1. 46km (29 mi) W of Illapel, Chile
  2. 68km (42 mi) WNW of Salamanca, Chile
  3. 104km (65 mi) NNW of La Ligua, Chile
  4. 116km (72 mi) SSW of Ovalle, Chile
  5. 228km (142 mi) NNW of Santiago, Chile
  6. ______________

County specific information:

Please be advised that the Maui County Budget Meeting for South Maui has been canceled because of the tsunami watch from the Chile earthquake today. The meeting had been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Kihei Community Center.

*** Please Check back for additional updates.  We will continue to update this post as additional information becomes available.

Earlier Video Updates:

Chile Earthquake Sept. 16, 2015. Image credit: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Chile Earthquake Sept. 16, 2015. Image credit: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

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