Hawai’i is not under threat of a damaging tsunami after a 7.3 magnitude eqrthquake struck off the east coast of Japan this morning.
The Pacific Tsunami Center says the temblor struck at 7:10 a.m. HST, about six miles below the ocean floor off Fukushima, Japan. Reports of regional tsunami waves of up to 15 inches have been reported, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A regional tsunami advisory was lifted within two hours of the quake.
Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters. The quake hit about 170 miles off Fukushima, and it was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles away.
“It was fairly big, and rattled quite a bit, but nothing fell to the floor or broke. We’ve had quakes of this magnitude before,” Satoshi Mizuno, an official with the Fukushima prefectural government’s disaster management department, told The Associated Press by phone. “Luckily, the quake’s center was very far off the coast.”
Mizuno said the operator of the troubled Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said no damage or abnormalities have been found.
All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 160 miles northeast of Tokyo.
No injuries have been reported.
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard has created safety zones within the commercial harbors of the main Hawaiian Islands that will require evacuation if a tsunami warning is issued.
The commercial harbors included are: Hilo Harbor, Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) Harbor, Hana Harbor, Honolulu Harbor, Kahului Harbor, Kaumalapau Harbor, Kaunakakai Harbor, Kawaihae Harbor and Nawiliwili Harbor.
The purpose for this rule is to evacuate the commercial harbors quickly and efficiently in the event that a tsunami warning is issued. Once a tsunami warning is issued, the Captain of the Port will order the evacuation of the commercial harbors that could be affected.
“Evacuating the commercial harbors before the arrival of a tsunami is a key component to reopening the commercial harbors after the threat has passed so that normal operations can resume,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Whaley. “This rule is intended to allow the commercial harbors to return to everyday business quicker following a tsunami or tsunami threat.”
The authority for the establishment of these safety zones is taken from 33 CFR 6, Protection and Security of Vessels and Waterfront Facilities.
To view the full Notice of Security Zone, please visit www.regulations.gov, insert the text “USCG-2013-0021” in to the keyword box and click search.
Over the past hour, some 10 aftershocks have followed an original 5.3 magnitude earthquake that rattled rocks and nerves southeast of the Big Island. No tsunami was generated and there were no reports of injuries or damage, according to Maui Civil Defense.
According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the earthquake was centered in deep ocean southeast of the Big Island. It reported the time of the earthquake as 2:13 p.m. Small quakes had preceded the event, and several aftershocks have followed. The quake occurred about 40 miles below the ocean floor.
“No tsunami is expected,” the warning center’s website said. However, “some areas may have experienced strong shaking.”
For more information, go online to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center’s website at ptwc.weather.gov or the U.S. Geological Survey’s site at usgs.gov.
WAILUKU – The Maui County Civil Defense Agency today announced that Maui County’s tsunami evacuation maps have recently been updated based on newly-released scientific data, and urged all Maui County residents to review the new evacuation maps.
The updated maps include expanded evacuation areas in Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina, as well as maps for Kahakuloa Village and Keanae, which had not previously been mapped.
To access the updated maps, visit the Civil Defense webpage on the Maui County website at www.mauicounty.gov/CivilDefense and click on “Tsunami Evacuation Maps” on the left menu bar.
“Please check the updated maps carefully because they mean that some households that were not instructed to evacuate during past tsunami warnings may now be included in the evacuation zone,” Mayor Alan Arakawa advised. “This new information will help us as a community to be better prepared for a tsunami, and I encourage everyone to share these maps with family, friends and neighbors.”
Civil Defense Emergency Management Officer Anna Foust explained that the new evacuation maps were based on the latest scientific modeling done by UH geophysicists. “The new inundation models take into account the bathymetry, or topography, of the ocean floor around our islands and how that impacts the tsunami wave as it reaches the shoreline,” Foust said. “Based on this information, our staff worked closely with the County’s emergency management partners and with our first-responder community to develop the new evacuation zones. Until the maps can be included in next year’s phone books, we are encouraging the public to visit the website to review the recent changes to the evacuation maps.”
Staff from the Maui County Civil Defense Agency will be scheduling community meetings in each district to introduce the maps and talk to residents about the recent changes and how they can prepare for a tsunami and other hazards. Details on scheduled community meetings will be released at a later date.
For more information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/CivilDefense .
EWA BEACH, Hawaii —The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says a Pacific-wide tsunami has not been generated after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake in the Maraiana Islands region north of Guam.
The earthquake struck at around 2:32 p.m. Hawaii time about 359 miles north of Yigo Village in Guam.
HONOLULU – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) with assistance from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is awarding six local non-profit, community groups grant funds to help address Japan Tsunami Marine Debris (JTMD) and keep Hawaii’s shorelines clean. The focus is on potential debris originating from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March 2011.
“The six grants totaling $100,000 complement ongoing efforts by community groups that are already working to address marine debris, including debris originating from the Japan tsunami,” said Gary Gill, deputy director of the DOH Environmental Health Administration. “For years Hawaii has depended on volunteers to keep marine debris off our beaches. Today, we are providing a little support for the very big job they do.”
The selected projects will help to reduce the impacts of marine debris from alien species, marine life entanglement, economic costs, and human health and safety. The awardees are:
Surfrider Kauai, $25,000 (for Kauai County);
Hawaii Wildlife Fund, $20,000 (for Maui County);
Recycle Hawaii, $20,000 (for Hawaii County);
Surfrider Oahu, $13,000 (for Honolulu County);
Kupu, $11,000 (for Honolulu County); and
Sustainable Coastlines, $11,000 (for Honolulu County).
The grant funds, which will be administered by the DOH, were provided by a $50,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and another $50,000 of matching funds contributed by DLNR. Selected proposals will reduce marine debris through beach cleanup and education activities that support ongoing habitat conservation in Hawaii coastal areas. Awardees and projects are located within the Kauai, Maui, Hawaii and Honolulu Counties with a focus on areas that typically receive the most marine debris. A map of these areas is available at www.hawaii.gov/health/epo. Project selection was based in part on confirmed JTMD items and areas known to accumulate the most marine debris.
To date, there have been eight confirmed JTMD items in Hawaii and more than 1,700 reports of potential JTMD in the United States and Canada. The public is urged to report findings of potential JTMD to DLNR at (808) 587-0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and to NOAA at email@example.com.
For guidance on “what to do if you see debris in Hawaii’s ocean or beaches” go to: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/JTMD-Guideline3.pdf
For the latest information on JTMD, please visit the DLNR Marine debris website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/marine-debris/ or the NOAA Marine Debris Program website at http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris/.
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