HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines has announced the cancellation of scheduled flights today and Monday between Honolulu and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The flights were canceled at the request of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, in anticipation of weather-related problems. Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the east coast. The storm is expected to be a tropical storm as it rakes across Pennsylvania, and likely a tropical depression as it rumbles across New York.
Hawaiian has scheduled an additional round-trip flight to New York City that will depart Honolulu on Tuesday afternoon, weather permitting. Affected passengers will be booked on the additional Tuesday flight or Hawaiian’s other regularly scheduled flights between Honolulu and New York’s JFK airport, and are advised to call reservations toll free at (800) 367-5320 to confirm flight details.
The affected flights are Hawaiian Airlines Flight 50, which departs daily from Honolulu International Airport at 3:05 p.m., and Flight 51, which departs daily from John F. Kennedy International Airport at 10 a.m.
Hawaiian will post updates online at www.hawaiianairlines.com.
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Honolulu, working with state and county officials, completed opening all Hawaii ports, Sunday.
Coast Guard and local officials previously ordered the evacuation of able vessels from local harbors Saturday, after a tsunami warning was issued for Hawaii. This evacuation was undertaken in an attempt to ensure public health and safety, protect the environment and preserve harbor infrastructure from inbound tsunami surges.
The Coast Guard Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit organized the safe departure of commercial vessels weighing more than 200 gross tons, that were required by the captain of the port order to travel to a safe distance offshore.
Coast Guard patrol boats, buoy tenders and response boats assisted with the safe evacuation of commercial and civilian vessels from Hawaii’s harbors. Maritime Safety Security Team Honolulu also assisted vessels transiting offshore.
During the night, Coast Guard crews assisted with multiple safety situations. Several vessels ran out of fuel offshore and were later towed in by Coast Guard crews. Vessel owners are encouraged to maintain enough fuel, a supply of medications and other emergency supplies to respond to an emergency.
Under the direction of the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation System Recovery Unit, C-130 airplane, MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, sea and land crews assessed impact to maritime infrastructure as the threat of further tsunami subsided. Federal, state and local authorities confirmed that all harbors were safe for re-entry by Sunday morning.
“I was very impressed by the safe and timely evacuation of the ports, coordinated harbor assessments and orderly return of vessels once the ports were reopened.” said Capt. Joanna Nunan, Captain of the Port. “This was truly a team effort with the state, counties, maritime industry and boaters.”
Honolulu Harbor as well as all other Hawaii harbors are now open to all vessel traffic.
The County of Maui is still assessing whether any damage was caused by last night’s tsunami, and we are asking residents to report any damage that they might find as well. Information and/or pictures can be sent via email to Communications Director Rod Antone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of 3:58 a.m. State Civil Defense canceled the tsunami advisory for Hawaii. The National Weather Service reports that tsunami wave heights across the state are now below advisory levels and are continuing to diminish, however they are asking boaters and swimmers to exercise caution as changes in sea level and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours.
This will be the final email regarding this tsunami event unless additional information is received. Mahalo.
Editor’s Note: Following is a recap by Maui TV News News Director Jeff King of the events and results after Saturday night’s tsunami warning for Maui and all of Hawai’i.
As busy as Maui Police were Saturday evening, there were no reports of serious incidents. That was not the case on O’ahu where dozens of emergency ambulance calls came in after roads were closed. One major traffic accident isolated the north Shore area when a fatal head-on collision closed Farrington Highway.
On Maui, Police were the target of the grumblings of a few disgruntled motorists who were not allowed to cross into evacuation zones until 1:30 a.m. Though the warning had been downgraded to an advisory, County officials asked for about 20 extra minutes to reopen valves for the County’s water and wastewater facilities. Kahului Airport remained open through the event. Only one flight was canceled – a Hawaiian inter island flight from Honolulu to Maui. Sixty-seven connecting passengers from the mainland were put in O’ahu hotels until the first flight coulf be arranged for them. Ironically, though, while planes could take off and land, all roads to and from the airport were closed by 10 p.m. leaving arriving crowds in lobbies and anxious departers blocked out.
Traffic tie-ups occurred along the “closed” zones between 9:30 and about 11 p.m. around Maui. Front Street was closed to traffic and virtually all waterfront businesses closed by 10 pm., sending employees and customers home.
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa was on O’ahu on county business when the tsunami warning was issued. He stayed in constant connection with the County’s Emergency center throughout the event, with Maui County Managing Director Keith Regan at the center the entire time.
Kahului Harbor and Hilo Harbor were the two spots forecasters said would likely receive the most powerful energy from the tsunami waves – generated earlier in the evening by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake near the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of British Columbia near the Northwest Territories. No major damages were reported in that area, nor in the heavily populated Vancouver Island and coastal areas of BC. The largest impact was a 1.4 foot tsunami surge at Crescent City, CA, resulting from “side energy” from the tsunami interruption.
The 10:28 p.m. wave arrived only a few minutes late…marking amazing accuracy in the models and predictions of Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The five-foot wave forecast was also accurate. The combined “draw” of about 1.9 feet, added to the 2.5-foot resulting surge above mean sea level resulted in a combined change of 4.4 feet. Fortunately for all concerned, that surge was a slow steady one – and no damage to boats or infrastructure occurred.
There are no 24-hour webcams at Kahului Harbor capable of night vision.
Meanwhile, the area where this all began is still jittering. Not only are nerves frayed there, but dozens of aftershocks continue. MSNBC reports that some 50 aftershocks have happened since the initial quake, around 5:40 p.m. Saturday HST. That’s significant because a major aftershock could send a new set of tsunami waves. The path has already been demonstrated, favoring the chance that it would likely happen in a similar way if a similar event takes place.
Maui County Communications Director Rod Antone was the spokesman for the county on statewide TV reports, while Ryan Piros was the lead connection between the county and all media. His regular updates to us at Maui TV News made it possible to continue our minute-by-minute updates throughout the event. Site visitors also reported their experiences, and we added important real time links to our site so web visitors could monitor the same sources we were monitoring. That included live webcam shots from north Kihei and from Pa’ia Bay.
Coast Guard crews from Maui monitored and coordinated a clean evacuation of vessels from Ma’alaea Harbor. At around midnight, some 12 vessels could be spotted about two miles outside Ma’alaea Harbor. The Captain of the Coast Guard ordered harbor evacuations when she ordered harbor closures. That order was lifted when the Tsunami Advisory was cancelled.
Gas stations were extremely busy Saturday night. Most being in island inundation zones closed them by 10 p.m. Before that, lines were long. No stations reported running out of gas.
As Sunday morning dawned, residents and visitors awoke to a beautiful Maui Sunday morning – as though nothing ever happened. County, State and Federal officials will convene for a situation review. Sirens did not sound in several communities across the state. Emergency notifications to media didn’t begin until nearly two hours after the tsunami had been generated. Even the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center didn’t acknowledge the event until two and a half hours “into” it. Those issues will all be addressed on a state and county level in the days to come. While officials worry that “another no-show tsunami” may jade residents, discouraging them from leaving home next time, few can deny that the “real life drill” showed how quickly responders can respond.
Given the amazing technology available that provided incredible accuracy as to the timing, direction, size and probable impact that was issued by the PTWC with virtually no ways to measure a wave after it left the epicenter, we knew as much as we knew. It is almost impossible to have measuring devices in each of the 360 degrees around Maui and Hawai’i far enough away to give us precise forecasts of potential sea-born threats. That’s why “erring on the side of caution,” and similar terms will likely prevail from the review of this event. One PTWC scientists said, “We over-predicted. We got it wrong.” We disagree completely. “It could have been much worse.” That assessment, alone, was worth every effort made by county officials and first responders across our islands.
Saturday’s combination of warning-level north shore waves and steadily regaining tradewinds made the Maui Makani Classic at Ho’okipa “epic.”
Waves reaching 20+ feet combined with northeast trades to present undulating sea monuntains as obstacles, and growing, gusty bursts of winds as unpredictable, hidden attackers.
The pictures tell the stories words can only describe. Here are the highlights from Day Three of the Maui Makani Classic 2012.
At 4:53 a.,m. today, The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach CANCELLED the TSUNAMI ADVISORY for the Hawaiian Islands. Not related – but the High Surf Advisory, issued earlier Saturday evening, was canceled at the same time.
EFFECTS: Tsunami wave heights across the state of Hawaii are now below advisory levels and are continuing to diminish. Based on all available data the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is now cancelling the Tsunami Advisory. Smaller sea level changes and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours and appropriate caution should be exercised by boaters and swimmers.
INFORMATION: This will be the last Maui County Civil Defense notification on this event.
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