Tsunami evacuation rule established for Hawaiian Islands commercial harbors

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard News
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard has created safety zones within the commercial harbors of the main Hawaiian Islands that will require evacuation if a tsunami warning is issued.

The commercial harbors included are: Hilo Harbor, Barbers Point (Kalaeloa) Harbor, Hana Harbor, Honolulu Harbor, Kahului Harbor, Kaumalapau Harbor, Kaunakakai Harbor, Kawaihae Harbor and Nawiliwili Harbor.

Coast Guard Cutters Kittiwake and Ahi, both 87-foot Patrol boats homeported in Honolulu, maintain security and safety outside of Honolulu Harbor, March 11, 2011. All vessels were urged to evacuate March 10 evening in prompt to the tsunami that was headed to the Hawaiian Islands following the devastating earthquake in Japan, March 10, 2011. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson)

Coast Guard Cutters Kittiwake and Ahi, both 87-foot Patrol boats homeported in Honolulu, maintain security and safety outside of Honolulu Harbor, March 11, 2011. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Kurt Fredrickson

The purpose for this rule is to evacuate the commercial harbors quickly and efficiently in the event that a tsunami warning is issued. Once a tsunami warning is issued, the Captain of the Port will order the evacuation of the commercial harbors that could be affected.

“Evacuating the commercial harbors before the arrival of a tsunami is a key component to reopening the commercial harbors after the threat has passed so that normal operations can resume,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Whaley. “This rule is intended to allow the commercial harbors to return to everyday business quicker following a tsunami or tsunami threat.”

The authority for the establishment of these safety zones is taken from 33 CFR 6, Protection and Security of Vessels and Waterfront Facilities.

To view the full Notice of Security Zone, please visit www.regulations.gov, insert the text “USCG-2013-0021” in to the keyword box and click search.

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