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CRITICAL EVALUATIONS FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII SUBSEQUENT TO THE 26 DECEMBER 2004 ASIAN TSUNAMI

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Author(s): Daniel A. Walker

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 23;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2005;
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Keywords: tsunami | tsunamis modeling | Pacific tsunamis | Hawaiian Islands | tsunami education | tsunami warnings | historical tsunami waves | tsunami inundation

ABSTRACT
A reexamination of historic data for Pacific-wide tsunamis suggests the need for modeling the effects of potential “100-year 9.0 magnitude earthquakes” from the Western and Southwestern Pacific, and possibly from Japan. Such modeling would either confirm the reliability of existing evacuation maps for the Hawaiian Islands or indicate necessary modifications. Long term observations of human responses to tsunamis in Hawaii, and more recently in Asia, suggest that tsunami education should be required in public and private schools. Destructive local tsunamis generated by small, unfelt earthquakes have struck, and will strike, portions of the Big Island without warning unless detectors similar to those protecting the Kona Coast are installed. Government and business leaders need to continually be reminded of the destructive potential of tsunamis, as well as the limitations and requirements of the warning system. Finally, critical infrastructure should be hardened to prevent damage from salt water flooding so as to facilitate a more rapid recovery from inevitable future tsunamis.
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