Coast Guard Establishing Evacuation Plan for Hawaii Islands in Case of Large Tsunami

If a large tsunami ever is about to hit Hawaii, like the one that hit Hilo in 1946, the Coast Guard is implementing an evacuation plan that would ensure the safe evacuation of boats and vessels from Harbors around the state.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in helping the park achieve its  TsunamiReady/StormReady designation.  NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Emergency Operations Coordinator John
Broward (left) and Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno (right) were instrumental in
helping the park achieve its TsunamiReady/StormReady designation. NPS Photo/Stephen Geiger

There are no public meetings planned by here is some general information on the plan:

The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a permanent regulated navigation area (RNA) and to enforce this proposed regulation only when a tsunami warning is issued for the Hawaiian Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Tsunami warnings require the evacuation of a large number of vessels from their respective harbors. Following the evacuation, these vessels must remain offshore until the emergency situation has passed and the harbors have been deemed safe for reentry.

Past tsunami warnings have created potentially dangerous offshore traffic congestion between commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Because of this, designated vessel traffic staging areas are necessary for a safe and orderly evacuation of Southern Oahu ports.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before November 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2012-0080. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. The following link will take you directly to the docket: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=USCG-2012-0080. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For more information click here: Coast Guard Evacuation Plan

Coast Guard Seeks Comment for New Regulated Navigation Area in Oahu

The Coast Guard is seeking public comment on a proposal of a permanent regulated navigation area, enforcement of which would take place only during times when a tsunami warning is issued for the Hawaiian Islands by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Coast Guard Navigation Area

Tsunami warnings require the evacuation of a large number of vessels from their respective harbors. Following the evacuation, these vessels must remain offshore until the emergency situation has passed and the harbors have been deemed safe for re-entry. Past tsunami warnings have created potentially dangerous offshore traffic congestion between commercial and recreational vessel traffic. Because of this, designated vessel traffic staging areas are necessary for a safe and orderly evacuation of southern Oahu ports.

Coast Guard Cutters Kittiwake and Ahi, both 87-foot Patrol boats homeported in Honolulu, maintain security and safety outside of Honolulu Harbor March 11, 2011. All vessels were urged to evacuate Thursday evening in prompt to the tsunami that was headed to the Hawaiian Islands following the devastating earthquake in Japan, March 10, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson.

Coast Guard Cutters Kittiwake and Ahi, both 87-foot Patrol boats homeported in Honolulu, maintain security and safety outside of Honolulu Harbor March 11, 2011. All vessels were urged to evacuate Thursday evening in prompt to the tsunami that was headed to the Hawaiian Islands following the devastating earthquake in Japan, March 10, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson.

“These staging areas are an example of Coast Guard efforts to improve our tsunami preparedness in the Hawaiian Islands,” said Captain Shannon Gilreath, captain of the port for Honolulu. “Second only to saving lives, the safe resumption of maritime commerce is a top priority following a disaster and these areas will help accomplish that”.

Public comment and related material on the proposed regulated navigation area must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 13, 2013.

The full proposed rule can be found and commented on here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=USCG-2012-0080-0001

For additional information or questions, contact Lt. Cmdr. Scott Whaley, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at (808) 522–8264 ext.352 or Scott.O.Whaley@uscg.mil.

 

Tsunami Information Statement – No Action Required

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 0232 PM HST 13 MAY 2013
   COORDINATES - 18.8 NORTH  145.4 EAST
   LOCATION    - MARIANA ISLANDS
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.0  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

 

Hawaii Could Be Elevated to a Tsunami Watch or Warning Status

4:57 PM UPDATE: 
BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.

 A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN CONFIRMED IN AREAS NEAR THE EPICENTER
 BUT IT SHOULD NOT AFFECT HAWAII.

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION 
ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED. 
AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS ORIGIN TIME - 0312 PM HST 05 FEB 2013 
COORDINATES - 10.9 SOUTH 165.1 EAST LOCATION - SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS MAGNITUDE - 8.0 

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 1004 PM HST TUE 05 FEB 2013

Alaska Has 7.7 Magnitude Earthquake – Some Coastal Areas in Hawaii Could Experience Sea Level Changes

TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER   1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
1109 PM HST FRI JAN 04 2013
earthquake

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 1058 PM HST 04 JAN 2013
   COORDINATES - 55.3 NORTH  134.9 WEST
   LOCATION    - SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.7  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 THE WEST COAST AND ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER HAS ISSUED A
 REGIONAL TSUNAMI WARNING AND/OR WATCH AND/OR ADVISORY FOR OTHER
 PARTS OF THE PACIFIC LOCATED CLOSER TO THE EARTHQUAKE. BASED ON
 ALL AVAILABLE DATA THERE IS NO DESTRUCTIVE TSUNAMI THREAT TO
 HAWAII.

 HOWEVER... SOME COASTAL AREAS IN HAWAII COULD EXPERIENCE SMALL
 NON-DESTRUCTIVE SEA LEVEL CHANGES AND STRONG OR UNUSUAL CURRENTS
 LASTING UP TO SEVERAL HOURS. THE ESTIMATED TIME SUCH EFFECTS
 MIGHT BEGIN IS

                     0428 AM HST SAT 05 JAN 2013THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

Commentary on Tsunami Sirens by Councilman Pete Hoffmann – “The Sounds of Silence”

Councilman Pete Hoffman

Councilman Pete Hoffmann

Last Saturday evening, we were visited once again by a frequent, if not welcomed, visitor, i.e. the threat of a tsunami. This was the third such event in the past 32 months and permitted island residents and agencies to participate in what is fast becoming an island staple, “the annual evacuation drill”. Fortunately, the threat remained exactly that. Some Saturday night festivities and events were cancelled or curtailed, many took to the roads seeking higher ground, others raced to the gas stations and local markets to ‘top off’ or stock-up (on what I’m not certain??), evacuation centers were opened, and in general residents displayed a growing non-chalance that is becoming part of the fabric of life on an island in the Pacific Ocean.

For the most part, our County first responders, Civil Defense, CERT volunteers and others performed with a degree of professionalism that comes from repeated ‘drills’. There will always be problems of some kind, and glitches will occur no matter how often the system is exercised. However, I agree with Mayor Kenoi when he notes that County personnel accomplished tasks in an outstanding fashion.

So am I the only one who remains concerned about our preparedness? In the rush to ‘pat ourselves on the back for a job well done’ I continue to question why considerable portions of our coastline with sizeable developments do not have any tsunami sirens. Why is it that after two previous tsunamis, some resort areas do not have a single siren in place? Didn’t we stress this danger last year and the year before?? Didn’t it take some legislative arm-wrestling to convince County officials that some zoning regulations need to be introduced to insure residents in those areas, most vulnerable to a tsunami have sufficient warning? Wasn’t the County supposed to follow-up with State officials to insure this situation doesn’t happen? Doesn’t this fall within the public health and safety mandates of our County government?? Despite the obvious dangers, Tsunami #3 came and there remain too many built up areas that lack a siren capability.

Do not misunderstand. A functioning siren system may not be the only or even the best warning capability. It takes, I believe, a combination of several components to provide our residents an effective early warning structure. My fear is that for some on our island, particularly along our coastlines, a siren is a critical ingredient that must be operational to provide the broad coverage so necessary for public safety. The silence along some portions of our coast is truly deafening.

Consider for a moment the timeframe involved: the February 2010 event allowed us 13+ hours lead time. The March 2011 event permitted us a seven hour warning. Last Saturday’s exercise cut that time to three hours. Does anyone see a pattern here?? My concern is that the next event may allow the County perhaps one hour or less to evacuate large numbers of people from our coastline. And knowing that our luck may finally run out, it will be in the dead of night when the visitor count is high and our snow-birds are here.

Before we “pat ourselves on the back” too much, we must return to basics. We are not as prepared as we think we are if sirens remain absent from many vulnerable areas. We are fooling ourselves if we think we are ready. We must make this deficiency a persistent and vocal objective of our County government now, not in the short-term, but immediately. Enough talk and promises. Solutions are required now and if sirens are lacking, some effective alternative must be put in place. This public health and safety shortfall cannot be permitted to exist when our next “annual tsunami drill” occurs. The sounds of silence must not continue.

Pete Hoffmann

County of Hawaii: “Technical Challenges Initially With Our Siren System During Last Night’s Tsunami Warning”

 

Media Release:

The tsunami advisory for the State of Hawai‘i ended this morning at 3:58 a.m. following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in the Queen Charlotte Islands region off the coast of Canada at 5:04 p.m. HST. We are grateful this morning to report that through the coordination of our first responders and the cooperation of the community, all of our shoreline and low-lying areas were evacuated safely during last night’s tsunami warning. We have received no reports of injury or serious property damage.

Although there were technical challenges initially with our siren system during last night’s tsunami warning, the challenges were addressed. The sirens are just one facet of our comprehensive emergency notification strategy, which includes sounding sirens, sending phone, text, and email alerts through mass notification systems, Civil Defense messages on radio and television stations, and manual notification by Police, Fire, and Civil Air Patrol.

Police and Fire personnel were deployed immediately to shoreline areas to notify people of the evacuation. Two fire helicopters, a privately contracted helicopter, and a Civil Air Patrol plane were in the air to monitor the shoreline and further notify people in difficult to access shoreline areas and ensure that the areas were clear.

Our human response was executed according to plan. In spite of the technical challenges earlier in the evening, we were able to safely execute a complete island-wide evacuation of shoreline and low-lying areas by 10:05 p.m.

During our next monthly siren test on Nov. 1, we will be stationing personnel at all sirens to ensure that they are operating as expected in concert with Hawai‘i State Civil Defense. State Civil Defense owns the sirens and takes care of repairs, while Hawai‘i County Civil Defense coordinates the operation of the sirens and conducts monthly tests.

What Happened to the Civil Defense Sirens During Last Nights Tsunami Warnings

Well as everyone knows by now we had a big scare again with a Tsunami Warning that happened following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the British Columbia coastline.

I was following the story fairly closely but was pretty concerned because the Civil Defense Sirens were not going off and nothing was being reported on the Civil Defense Page about the possible incoming tsunami.

In fact the only thing the Civil Defense Page did report was the following nearly 5 hours after the first wave was suppose to hit:

“This is a Civil Defense Message for Sunday October 28, 2012 at 4:15 AM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled the tsunami advisory for the Island of Hawaii, however small sea level changes and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours.  Beaches will remain closed until further notice.  This will be the final message issued for this event unless conditions change.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense”

I first learned about it at 7:15 pm Hawaii time and didn’t even hear the first siren in Pahoa until nearly 9:15 in the evening!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5ei7Uc2Dj2k]

I know that the sirens were going off in Kona earlier as my wife was staying at the Keauhou Resort for a soccer tournament and they got evacuated as soon as the sirens went off over there around 8:30.

I was getting facebook reports from other parts of the island that they weren’t hearing sirens either.

Big Island Video News posted a video of the strange tidal action that was happening shortly after the tsunami hit and you can view that here “Video: Tsunami Brings Strange Tides to Wailoa Boat Harbor“.

TSUNAMI WARNING ISSUED FOR STATE OF HAWAII

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT
0709 PM HST.  THIS UPGRADE IS DUE TO THE SEA LEVEL READINGS
RECEIVED AND THE RESULTING CHANGE IN THE HAWAII TSUNAMI
FORECAST.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 0504 PM HST 27 OCT 2012
   COORDINATES - 52.8 NORTH  131.8 WEST
   LOCATION    - QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.7  MOMENT

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

 GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON    TIME        AMPL         PER
 -------------------  ----- ------  -----  ---------------  -----
 DART 46404           45.9N 128.8W  0417Z   0.05M /  0.2FT  20MIN
 LANGARA POINT BC     54.2N 133.1W  0424Z   0.20M /  0.7FT  26MIN
 DART 46419           48.8N 129.6W  0346Z   0.06M /  0.2FT  12MIN

 LAT  - LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)
 LON  - LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)
 TIME - TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)
 AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
        IT IS ...NOT... CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.
        VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).
 PER  - PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

 NOTE - DART MEASUREMENTS ARE FROM THE DEEP OCEAN AND THEY
        ARE GENERALLY MUCH SMALLER THAN WOULD BE COASTAL
         MEASUREMENTS AT SIMILAR LOCATIONS.

EVALUATION

 A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE ALONG
 COASTLINES OF ALL ISLANDS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. URGENT ACTION
 SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.

 A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF LONG OCEAN WAVES. EACH INDIVIDUAL WAVE
 CREST CAN LAST 5 TO 15 MINUTES OR MORE AND EXTENSIVELY FLOOD
 COASTAL AREAS. THE DANGER CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AFTER THE
 INITIAL WAVE AS SUBSEQUENT WAVES ARRIVE. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS
 CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST.
 TSUNAMI WAVES EFFICIENTLY WRAP AROUND ISLANDS. ALL SHORES ARE AT
 RISK NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION THEY FACE. THE TROUGH OF A TSUNAMI
 WAVE MAY TEMPORARILY EXPOSE THE SEAFLOOR BUT THE AREA WILL
 QUICKLY FLOOD AGAIN. EXTREMELY STRONG AND UNUSUAL NEARSHORE
 CURRENTS CAN ACCOMPANY A TSUNAMI. DEBRIS PICKED UP AND CARRIED
 BY A TSUNAMI AMPLIFIES ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER. SIMULTANEOUS HIGH
 TIDES OR HIGH SURF CAN SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE TSUNAMI HAZARD.

 THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME IN HAWAII OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS

                     1028 PM HST SAT 27 OCT 2012MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

7.1 Earthquake Strikes Alaska… Tsunami Alert Generated… But NO TSUNAMI THREAT FOR HAWAII

2:12 AM UPDATE: Tsunami warning CANCELLED for Alaska’s Aleutian Islands per Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center has posted this alert:

“A Tsunami Warning is now in effect which includes the coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass, Alaska (80 miles NE of Dutch Harbor) to Amchitka Pass, Alaska (125 miles W of Adak).”

Magnitude 7.1
Date-Time
  • Friday, September 02, 2011 at 10:55:54 UTC
  • Friday, September 02, 2011 at 01:55:54 AM at epicenter
Location 52.184°N, 171.684°W
Depth 35.5 km (22.1 miles)
Region FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA
Distances
  • 172 km (107 miles) E (90°) from Atka, AK
  • 209 km (130 miles) WSW (247°) from Nikolski, AK
  • 341 km (212 miles) E (82°) from Adak, AK
  • 1659 km (1031 miles) WSW (243°) from Anchorage, AK
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14 km (8.7 miles); depth +/- 4.4 km (2.7 miles)
Parameters NST=824, Nph=825, Dmin=172.5 km, Rmss=0.81 sec, Gp= 54°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9
Source
  • Magnitude: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Location: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usc0005n83
TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
106 AM HST FRI SEP 02 2011

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 1256 AM HST 02 SEP 2011
   COORDINATES - 51.8 NORTH  171.4 WEST
   LOCATION    - FOX ISLANDS  ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.1  MOMENT

EVALUATION

 BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
 NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
 DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
 TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.THIS WILL BE THE ONLY STATEMENT ISSUED FOR THIS EVENT UNLESS
ADDITIONAL DATA ARE RECEIVED.

Hawaii State Civil Defense to Test 13 Oahu Outdoor Warning Sirens on Wednesday and Thursday

Department of Emergency Management Message:

State Civil Defense will test 13 Oahu sirens this week Wednesday and Thursday, March 23-24, 2011.

Residents in the areas listed below may hear the steady siren tone during the scheduled times and should not be alarmed.

The sirens and schedule for testing is:

Wednesday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Makaha North
Waianae Shopping Center
Nanaikapono School
Honouliuli

Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sandy Beach
Hanauma Bay
Maunalua Beach Park
Kamioiki Neighborhood Park

Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Aikahi Park
Heeia Kea Pier
Ahuimanu Sewage Treatment Plant
Waihole Beach Park

Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Turtle Bay

Times are approximate and may change based on installation times. Residents in these areas may call State Civil Defense at 733-4300 with any questions or concerns.

Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort on the Tsunami… “No Major Impact on Our Resort”

I’m glad to hear that there was no major damage to report at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort and they are open for business as usual.

Media Release:

The recent tsunami that hit the Hawaiian Islands following the 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan had no major impact on our resort. Everything is open and operating as normal. The tsunami caused some damage on the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island but has mainly been reported from harbors and some low lying areas. In most cases business is back to normal. Travelers heading to Hawaii should continue do so with confidence. Please know that our thoughts are with the people of Japan, here in Hawaii, and across the Pacific who are facing continued challenges as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.

Tsunami Hits Hulihee Palace *Updated*

Announcement:

The grounds of seaside Hulihe‘e Palace have suffered damage from this morning’s early tsunami. While the basement of the palace is flooded, it is still unknown if the first floor of the palace, with its many artifacts, suffered any damage.

Long-time palace administrator Fanny Au Hoy reports that several treasured artifacts were removed from the landmark last night in anticipation of the tsunami. “We filled three vehicles,” she shared.

Local law enforcement is keeping people away from the downtown Kailua-Kona area and Au Hoy has been unable to verify the condition of the palace’s interior. She says there is sand and gravel on the palace’s oceanside lanai.

Au Hoy confirmed the palace’s caretaker cottage has been damaged, as well as the lanai of the next-door Kuakini Building, which houses the palace’s kitchen and meeting area.

In addition to debris being spread throughout the palace grounds, Au Hoy shared that part of the slab topping the seawall has been damaged. “It’s in the area by the flagpole,” she detailed.

The palace, which is managed by the Daughters of Hawai‘i, will remain closed until further notice. Au Hoy added that the Honolulu office of the organization has been appraised of the palace’s current situation.

Hulihe‘e Palace reopened in September 2009 after receiving a $1.5 million renovation to repair damage suffered in the October 2007 earthquake.

HULIHE’E PALACE CARETAKERS—Founded in 1903, the Daughters of Hawai‘i opens its membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in their efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all, 329-1877, www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

*UPDATE:

The main floors of Hulihe‘e Palace were spared the wrath of this morning’s tsunami, which inundated Ali‘i Drive in Kailua Village. While the basement of the palace is flooded, there was no water damage to the first floor of the seaside historic landmark.

“From what we can see with the naked eye, it looks like we’re okay,” says long-time palace administrator Fanny Au Hoy. She said plans are in the works to pump water out of the basement and a structural inspection will need to be completed.

The palace’s newly renovated caretaker cottage didn’t fare so well. It is off its foundation and the adjacent Ki‘ope Pond, which was used in ancient times by Hawaiian royalty for aquaculture, suffered damage to its mauka wall.

“It looks like water came into the pond, surged, and then washed under the cottage,” details Au Hoy.

The next-door Kuakini Building, which houses the palace’s kitchen and gift shop, suffered interior water damage. The top of the seawall along the oceanside lawn of the palace was also damaged.

Au Hoy reports several treasured artifacts were removed from the landmark last night in anticipation of the tsunami. “We filled three vehicles,” she shared.

The palace, which is managed by the Daughters of Hawai‘i, will remain closed until further notice.

Hulihe‘e Palace reopened in September 2009 after receiving a $1.5 million renovation to repair damage suffered in the October 2006 earthquake.