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Tsunamis (Japanese term meaning wave in the harbor) are a threat in the Pacific Basin, which includes Hawai`i. This page contains informational links about tsunamis, and what action you should take if there is a threat of a tsunami.

LOCAL EARTHQUAKE - May cause you to fall or have difficulty standing. This is a natural tsunami warning. Initially, protect yourself from earthquake effects. When the shaking stops, leave the evacuation zones immediately.

URGENT TSUNAMI WARNING - Possible tsunami generated by a significant earthquake in local waters. Sirens will sound. Turn on radio. If an urgent tsunami warning is announced, leave the evacuation zones immediately.

TSUNAMI WATCH - Significant distant earthquake has occurred. Tsunami approach not confirmed but possible. No siren sounding. Prepare for possible upgrade to tsunami warning.

TSUNAMI WARNING - Tsunami approach confirmed. Sirens will sound. Monitor radio. Be prepared to evacuate when advised/ordered by civil defense.

TSUNAMI EVACUATION - Sirens will sound. Turn on radio. Those who are in tsunami evacuation zones must begin evacuation when the evacuation advisory/order is issued by civil defense.

For more information:


In Hawai`i, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) has responsibility for tsunami monitoring, and the subsequent issuance of any necessary watches or warnings. Hawai`i is also home to the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC), which provides a wealth of information about tsunamis.

Travel Times Map for Hawaii
from the International Tsunami Information Center