HONOLULU – The people of Tanohata Village, in the Iwate Prefecture, on Japan’s northeast coast “are slowly, but surely walking on the path to recovery as a united body,” according to Tanohata Village Mayor Hiroshi Ishihara. The tiny village was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011.
Now, a sign being returned from Hawaii may provide further sense of hope and renewal. Today, the large wooden sign from the village, which washed up on a beach near Kahuku, Oahu, was loaded into the cargo hold of a Hawaiian Airlines jet and shipped to Sendai International Airport. From there a delegation from Tanohata Village will transport it home.
“This small gesture, a result of cooperation between state and federal agencies, the government of Japan, and Hawaiian Airlines, symbolizes the concern the people of Hawaii continue to have for the victims of the 2011 tsunami,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “We hope, in some small measure, the return of this sign from the distant shores of Hawaii will further the healing and recovery of the people of Tanohata Village.”
In a letter sent by Mayor Ishihara, he writes, “Thank you very much for finding and saving the sign – our village’s irreplaceable memento – which was lost during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, from a tremendous amount of debris items – we imagine as many as the number of stars in the sky – that ended up on Kahuku Beach on the Oahu Island. We are truly and deeply moved by the fact that you took the time to deliver the message to us, connecting many people and their compassion. Our village will treasure the memento that is coming back to our hands through your cooperation.”
“The world watched stunned and heartbroken by the devastation the tsunami caused in terms of loss of life and property,” said William J. Aila, Jr., the chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). “My department has worked closely and in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to track and recover Japan tsunami debris believed to have washed up in Hawaiian waters,” Aila explained. “Debris that makes its way to Hawaii is usually returned at the owner’s expense; however, Hawaiian Airlines volunteered to ship the sign back at no charge.”
The Tanohata village sign is one of fewer than 20 items that have been positively identified as arriving in Hawaii as a result of the Japan tsunami.
Kyle Koyanagi, regional coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program in Hawaii said, “The websites both NOAA and DLNR established for people to report possible tsunami debris has resulted in numerous small vessels (skiffs) and other items being recovered. People are asked to provide specific information about where they find debris and to take pictures. Based on this information a determination is made about whether further investigation is necessary to prevent the introduction of invasive species or other things that could damage Hawaii’s environment.”
Some of the Tanohata Village sign’s lettering broke off during the tsunami or during its open ocean voyage from Japan to Hawaii. Koyanagi was instrumental in coordinating with the Japanese Consulate in Honolulu to try and identify the origin of the sign.
Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Toyoei Shigeeda said, “The lettering on the sign, 「しまのこし村営住宅, means “Shimanokoshi village housing.” The people of Tanohata village wanted it returned for an exhibit and to serve as a useful reference for future generations to learn about and understand the tsunami disaster of March 11, 2011. We’re all excited that now, more than three years after the tsunami, this sign can be returned as a reminder and symbol of what was lost.”
The sign was wrapped and crated by DLNR staff before Hawaiian Airlines cargo personnel loaded it onto HA 441 for the direct flight to Sendai. Tim Strauss, vice president of cargo for Hawaiian Airlines, remarked: “We deeply value our relationship with the people of Japan, and it is our great honor to do our part in returning this precious piece of cargo to the people of Tanohata.”
To report large quantities of marine debris, debris with living organisms on it, or debris too large to remove by hand, call (808) 587-0400 and then email any photos to:
DLNR.email@example.com and DisasterDebris@noaa.gov
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has CANCELLED a TSUNAMI ADVISORY for the state of Hawaii. The cancellation also means that all Maui County beach parks are now open. An 8.2 magnitude quake sdruck along the coast of northern Chile shortly before 2 p.m., HST, Tuesday. A local tsunami – generated almost immediately, was estimated a six feet. A Pacific-wide Tsunami Watch was issued. The watch was downgraded to “advisory” shortly after 3:30 a.m. today – when any significant tsunami activity would have reached Hawai’i.
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.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES: Ocean Safety officials have completed an assessment of conditions and report nothing unusual. ALL County beach parks are open.
INFORMATION: This will be the final message issued for this event unless additional data are received.
Today’s earthquake in northern Chile is not expected to have a major impact on Hawai’i. In addition, the quake had relatively minor impact on Chile. “Minor,” being defined as three deaths – attributed, according to the locally mayor to cardiac arrest among elderly regional residents. That is certainly significant to those people – and their families – but the media has a way of downplaying that very sad fact while applying it to the world at large.
In Hawai’i, the Pacific Tsunami Center says: THERE IS NO THREAT TO HAWAII OF A DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI.
HOWEVER, A TSUNAMI ADVISORY IS POSTED FOR ALL SHORES. A TSUNAMI ADVISORY IS BASICALLY A LOW-LEVEL WARNING. STAY AWAY FROM THE SHORE. STRONG CURRENTS AND MINOR SURGES ALONG COASTLINES AND IN HARBORS COULD OCCUR. FIRST RESPONDERS TYPICALLY CLEAR BEACHES, SIRENS WILL NOT SOUND. ARRIVAL OF FIRST WAVE IS AROUND 3:20AM. KAHULUI HARBOR COULD SEE TSUNAMI WAVES / SURGES OF 1 TO 3… FEET.
Historically the last Chilean earthquake was MUCH bigger than today’s earthquake however, today’s earthquake lines up more directly with Hawaii than the last destructive tsunami generated from there. That is why the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center was so cautious in its reports. They issued 5 bulletins where they said no more than “The situation is currently being evaluated.”
After an 8.2M earthquake off the coast of northern Chile, watches and warnings were posted locally. The largest wave height recorded there was at Pisagua Chile – 7.6 feet. Tsunami waves of this height can do significant damage. In Iquique, Chile there have been 14 waves, 6 feet each and the event is still on-going.
Today marks the beginning of Tsunami Awareness Month and the 68th anniversary of another major tsunami in Hawaii. The April 1, 1946 tsunami was generated by an 8.6-magnitude quake in the Aleutian Islands. It caused widespread damage in Hilo and killed 159 people in Hawaii and six in Alaska.
TO – CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII
SUBJECT – TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT
THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION IS REQUIRED AT THIS TIME. HOWEVER…… THE TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII IS STILL BEING EVALUATED.
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS
ORIGIN TIME – 0147 PM HST 01 APR 2014
COORDINATES – 19.8 SOUTH 70.8 WEST
LOCATION – OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN CHILE
MAGNITUDE – 8.0 MOMENT EVALUATION
THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED AN EXPANDING REGIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND WATCH FOR PARTS OF THE PACIFIC LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. AN EVALUATION OF THE PACIFIC WIDE TSUNAMI THREAT IS UNDERWAY AND THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT HAWAII COULD BE ELEVATED TO A WATCH OR WARNING STATUS.
IF TSUNAMI WAVES IMPACT HAWAII THEIR ESTIMATED EARLIEST ARRIVAL TIME IS 0324 AM HST WED 02 APR 2014
FURTHER STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT UNTIL THE THREAT TO HAWAII HAS PASSED.
Three years ago today, Japan was shaken by an earthquake and tsunami that devastated their country and affected the entire Pacific Ocean – including many tense hours here on Maui as the tsunami approached. Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney, issued the following statement today marking the anniversary.
“The resilience of the Japanese people has helped them to heal and move forward from this tragedy. However, we know they are still recovering both physically and emotionally. The losses they endured can never be forgotten.
“On behalf of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, we continue to send our heartfelt aloha to our ‘ohana in Japan as we remember the anniversary of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.”
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.
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