Last updated: 10:32 AM ET, Wed September 30 2015

Hawaii Announces Tsunami Precautions, Warnings Lifted in Chile

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | September 17, 2015

Hawaii Announces Tsunami Precautions, Warnings Lifted in Chile

Photo via NOAA

A tsunami advisory has been issued for the state of Hawaii in the wake of Wednesday's 8.3-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of northern Chile, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced.

While a major tsunami is very unlikely to impact the Aloha State, according to scientists, the National Weather Service said that sea level changes and strong currents could be experienced throughout the island chain. KITV reported the state could see waves anywhere between 0.3 and one meter above the tide level as early as 3 a.m. local time Thursday (9 a.m. ET).

In the meantime, state officials have announced that Hanauma Bay and all Maui County beach parks will be closed Thursday until further notice. And as a precaution, the Jetty Road at Nawiliwili, a popular tourist attraction, was closed at 6 p.m. local time Wednesday and will reopen after the tsunami threat is over. 

"If you remember the tsunami from 2011, most of the damage that happened to the state was when the waves went back-and-forth between the islands, and it was a little bigger than a meter," Hawaii Emergency Management Agency director Joe Logan told KITV. "So for the boats and harbors, there was an advisory that came out earlier today and they asked people who own the boats in our small boat harbors to go ahead and relax the lines and do those things pertinent and so it doesn't affect the piers and things attached to."

Reuters reported Wednesday's earthquake prompted the evacuation of more than one million people in Chile. So far, officials there have attributed at least eight deaths and dozens of injuries to the natural disaster. 

Evacuations took place in many of the country's coastal areas, including the port city of Valparaiso, which is located roughly 75 miles northwest of Santiago and known as the country's main passenger port, serving more than four dozen cruise ships and more than 100,000 passengers annually. 

However with the risk of tsunami having passed, the Chilean government lifted its warning Thursday, Reuters reported. 

Most of the damage occurred in Chile's coastal regions, where flooding and power outages have resulted in major damage. Reuters reported the port of Coquimbo sustained significant damage, with waves as high as 4.5 meters (15 feet) damaging boats, homes and other property.


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