State Closes Coastal Areas to Assess Impacts of Tsunami Advisory

September 16, 2015, 6:30 PM HST · Updated September 17, 1:11 PM
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Waiʻānapanapa. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Waiʻānapanapa. Photo by Wendy Osher.

(Update: 11:56 a.m. 9/17/15)

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reopened all low-lying, coastal state parks and forest areas this morning at 8 a.m. following staff monitoring for any potential effects of tsunami waves from yesterday’s earthquake in Chile.  No damages were reported in any of these areas. Small boat harbors were not closed and there were no reports of any damages.

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(Original Post: 6:30 p.m. 9/16/15)

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State managed coastal and low-lying areas will remain closed on Thursday morning until staff from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is able to assess ocean conditions following a large earthquake in Chile on Wednesday afternoon.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will keep the areas closed until it is deemed safe for reopening.

This includes coastal areas, state beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves and game management areas that are located in low-lying area.

“This action is being taken in the interest of public safety, and in coordination with tsunami advisory messages by Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which is projecting the arrival a little after 3 a.m. tomorrow of possible waves reaching one to three feet on Hawaii coastlines generated by today’s 8.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Central Chile,” officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a press release.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a Tsunami Advisory saying there is no major tsunami expected in Hawaii, but strong and unusual currents are forecast with waves of 1 to 3 feet expected.

State officials say small boat harbors across Hawaii will remain open for any boat owners who may choose to take their vessels out.

The public is advised to avoid coastal waters, beaches, rocky shorelines between 3 a.m. to at least 7 a.m.

Authorities say wave action may continue for three to four hours.

The County of Maui has also closed County beach parks until further notice, with plans to assess coastal areas on Thursday morning, Sept. 17, 2015.

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