For some interesting data about the tsunami that was generated by the recent earthquake off the coast of Chile, visit the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning web site that details the sequence of advisories and warnings. Even though Hawaii was fortunately spared the kind of devasting tsunami that came ashore in Indonesia a few years ago, the NOAA site shows that sea level did rise at the locations they measure in Hawaii, in places up to three feet above normal. Civil defense authorities in Hawaii acted on the tsunami warnings, successfully evacuating everyone from the areas at risk. While this is the kind of “drill” you’d rather not have, it undoubtedly provided some valuable lessons learned for everyone involved and will hopefully make the response to the next warning even more effective.
Fortunately for Hawaii, Tropical Storm Felicia, formerly Hurricane Felicia, has slowed in speed and lessened in intensity, but she is still expected to pass over the Hawaiian islands today, just missing the Big Island, but making landfall on the central islands of Oahu and Maui, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters predict sustained winds of about 40 mph along with rain, but rainfall will not be as torrential as they originally thought. However, many schools, parks and beaches are already closed as the islands brace for the storm.
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also cautions us (click here for the story) not to be lulled into complacency because of the perceived “slow start” to the Atlantic hurricane season, as the peak months for big storms, August and September, are just coming up. So check out those disaster plans supplies, both at work and at home (click here for NOAA’s hurricane preparedness advice), and keep an eye on the forecast!