Maui News

Update: No tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi following 6.8 earthquake south of Panama

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PC: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Update: No Tsunami Threat to Hawaiʻi

(Update: 2:27 a.m. HST, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022)

There is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi following a 6.8 (6.9 preliminary) magnitude earthquake reported at 1:57 a.m. HST on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 in an area south of Panama.

“Based on all available data, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected, and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi,” according to an update issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

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The PTWC was evaluating the potential threat following the quake, but has since determined that there is no tsunami expected for Hawaiʻi. The agency says they will not issue further statements for this event unless additional data are received.

Previous Post: Evaluation Underway

(Posted: 2:06 a.m. HST, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022)

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is currently conducting an evaluation to determine if there is a tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi following a 6.9 magnitude earthquake reported at 1:57 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in an area South of Panama.

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The agency says a tsunami threat exists for parts of the Pacific located closer to the earthquake, but it is still too early to determine whether there is a possible tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi.

If there is a tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi, the earliest estimated time the hazard might begin is 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

According to the PTWC, estimated times of arrival of the initial tsunami wave for places with a potential tsunami threat could be on Thursday afternoon at the following times: 

  • 12:40 p.m. for Hilo, Hawaiʻi Island; 
  • 1:30 p.m. for Kahului, Maui; 
  • 1:18 for Nāwiliwili, Kauaʻi; and 
  • 1:18 p.m. for Honolulu.
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The agency notes that actual arrival times may differ and may not be the largest wave if a tsunami were to occur.  The public is reminded that a tsunami is a series of waves and the time between waves can be five minutes to one hour. 

Further statements will be issued hourly or sooner as the situation develops.

The USGS notes that the location of the quake in respect to nearby cities was:

  • 38.6 miles SSW of Boca Chica, Panama
  • 48.8 miles S of Pedregal, Panama
  • 52.1 miles S of Las Lomas, Panama
  • 52.2 miles S of David, Panama
  • 54.8 miles SE of Puerto Armuelles, Panama

*This story will be updated as further information becomes available.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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