NOAA 2005-R228
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Delores Clark
3/31/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
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STATEWIDE TSUNAMI WARNING EXERCISE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 1
April is Tsunami Awareness Month in Hawaii

NOAA’s National Weather Service and Hawaii's civil defense agencies will conduct a statewide tsunami warning and response exercise on April 1, kicking off Hawaii's Tsunami Awareness Month. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Since the December 26 Indian Ocean tsunami tragedy, world attention has been increasingly focused on efforts to improve tsunami detection and warnings and the efforts to educate the public about potential tsunami threats. A tsunami warning system has been in place in Hawaii since 1949. To stay tsunami prepared, Hawaii holds annual drills and public awareness activities, such as Tsunami Awareness Month.

“We will conduct a statewide tsunami exercise on April 1 with all government partners participating,” said Ed Teixiera, vice director of Hawaii Civil Defense. “Last year we practiced a local tsunami drill, but this year the exercise is based on a larger teletsunami generated by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Aleutian Islands, similar to the one of April 1, 1946. The exercise kicks off Tsunami Awareness Month, conducted in Hawaii every April to commemorate the lives of those lost in 1946. It gives us an opportunity through public events and activities to remind our residents how to protect themselves during a tsunami.”

“An established warning system and statewide exercises like this help make Hawaii arguably the most tsunami ready state in the nation. These drills are the key to future safety,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This type of statewide tsunami preparedness test will become a standard part of NOAA's commitment to better engage and inform the public as we build a nationwide tsunami detection and warning system.”

“One of the best ways a community can prepare is by participating in NOAA’s TsunamiReady Program,” said Charles McCreery, director of the Richard H. Hagemeyer Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. “In Hawaii, both Kauai and Maui counties are recognized as TsunamiReady because they met the criteria, which includes having a 24-hour emergency operations center, redundant ways to receive and issue warning information, an evacuation plan and public outreach programs.”

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.

Tsunami Awareness Month Calendar of Events:

http://www.prh.noaa.gov/itic/tsunami_events/media/media.html