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.

 

Harry Kim on Last Week’s Tsunami Warning: Escape Routes in Puna “…I am satisfied with what is there”

Harry Kim just posted the following on his facebook page following his silence about the the whole situation:

LAST WEEK’S TSUNAMI WARNING

To those who have asked for comments on the last tsunami incident: I have not said anything, and will not comment because I believe that would be inappropriate and non-productive for me to say anything at this time. Any comments would be based on what has appeared in the media, not knowing the specifics of the situation, and would be just Monday night quarterbacking. I do hope that the authorities from the state to the county will review the entire event. I hope you understand that any comment by me would not in any way be productive in the only important mission at this time, and that is to make things better.

To Bill Daly – On your specific question on escape routes in lower Puna during tsunami incidents, I am satisfied with what is there. The major issue for residents is to be very familiar with their routes, and even practice evacuation. The available routes to safety are a short distance in all areas of Puna, and what is important that the residents be familiar with what is closest to them.

Aloha, Harry

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.

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.