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compilation of historical photos of tsunami inundation Hilo

New tsunami video gives insights, answers on how to prepare

(Dennis Hwang is available for media inquiries via Zoom or phone between 12 p.m.–3 p.m. today, April 21, 2024 )

(Honolulu, HI) – In response to Gov. Josh Green proclaiming April as Tsunami Awareness Month in Hawai‘i, the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) partnered with organizations across the state to promote tsunami preparedness by creating a new 2024 Hawai‘i Tsunami Preparedness video.

This year marks 78 years since the deadly 1946 Aleutian Islands earthquake that generated tsunami waves over 50-feet high in Hilo, caused tragic loss of life, and $340 million economic damage to the state. To prepare for future tsunamis which can strike with very little warning and occur anywhere, at any time, Green’s proclamation highlighted the importance of awareness, education, and action in preparing the state for potentially deadly tsunamis.

Talmadge Magno, the administrator of the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency, stated “This video has it all in one place. It covers how a tsunami is generated, tsunami zones, emergency communications and evacuation planning so that residents properly know where to go during the  tsunami threat.”

Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth agreed and emailed the link to all County employees to  “highly encourage” them to watch the video to be more aware and better prepared.

In addition, County of Kaua‘i Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami and his team distributed the video to statewide, local media, Kaua‘i’s public access station Hō‘ike Television, and through County of Kaua‘i’s social media channels.

Dennis Hwang, faculty with Hawai‘i Sea Grant, said “This video is the result of a collaborative partnership among emergency managers from across the state, as well as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, International Tsunami Information Center, and Pacific Tsunami Museum, as well as the Hawai‘i State Department of Education which produced the video. It includes the most up-to-date information available and is an important resource for the public now and into the future.”

The experts who produced the video strongly encourage every resident of Hawai‘i, and every visitor, to watch this free resource video which could potentially save their life or the life of a family member. While the video focuses on tsunami preparedness, it includes information to help prepare for other natural hazards such as wildfires and hurricanes.

It is available on YouTube and can be accessed through Hawai‘i Sea Grant’s YouTube Channel as well as organization websites that partnered on the production of the video.


The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program is part of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s prestigious School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. It supports an innovative program of research, education, and extension services directed to increasing sustainability of coastal and marine resources and resilience of coastal communities of the state, region, and nation. Science serving Hawai‘i and the Pacific since 1968.