After speaking with a couple visiting tourists on Friday, it was apparent that many were caught off guard by the loud Civil Defense sirens that began ringing out in costal regions of Maui around 9 pm Thursday night. If you ever hear these sirens (except when they are tested at 11:45 am on the first Monday of the month), immediately turn on the television or tune in to a local radio station to understand evacuation procedures.
Now, the official Maui tsunami manual:
- It may take hours for tsunami waves to reach the coast of Maui County following an earthquake far out in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center located on Oahu alerts local officials who may order evacuation. Some isolated areas may not receive official announcements. If you notice a sudden drop or rise in sea level, it may be a warning of impending danger. Move to high ground or inland immediately.
- The waves can kill and injure people and cause great property damage where they come ashore. The first wave is often not the largest and may be spaced many miles and minutes apart. They may also continue to arrive for several hours.
Where do I evacuate?
- Go to an area 50 feet above sea level, if possible. If you don’t have time to travel to high ground, but are in a building four floors or higher, go to at least the 4th floor. If you are on the beach and unable to get to high ground go inland as far as you can. The tsunami evacuation maps found in the Verizon Telephone Book illustrates the Tsunami Evacuation Zones. If you are in this zone you should evacuate. Take your disaster supply kit with you, if possible.
- Shelters or Community Centers will be opened as needed. Listen to your radio for details.
How do I get inland or to high ground?
- Go on foot if necessary, particularly if an earthquake has caused damage to roads, power lines, and resulted in significant debris.
- Remember: Never go to the coast to watch a tsunami. Tsunamis move faster than a person can run. Ifyou are camping on or near the beach, you may have to abandon your campsite to go inland or to higher ground to save your life.
- Do not return to shore after the first wave. Wait for Emergency Management officials to give the “All Clear” before you return. This will be done by radio or local TV. No siren will sound for “All Clear”.
- If you see an unexpected rise or fall in the coastal water, a tsunami may be approaching. Do not wait – instead move inland or uphill as quickly as possible.
- Stay tuned to your radio, marine radio, or NOAA Weather Radio during a disaster. Bulletins will be issued regularly through local Emergency Management officials and National Weather Service.
Maui Radio Stations that will have emergency info:
- KAOI-AM 1110
- KMVI-AM 550
- KNUI-AM 900
- KAOI-FM 95.1 (97.1 West Side)
- KDLX-FM 94.3
- KJKS-FM 99.9 (99.3 West Side)
- KJMD-FM 98.3 (107.3 West Side)
- KLHI-FM 92.5 (101.1 West Side)
- KNUQ-FM 103.3 / 103.7
- KONI-FM 104.7
- KPMW-FM 105.5
- KPOA-FM 93.5 (92.9 West Side)