Maui Hawaii Real Estate Q & A - what's a Tsunami?

Real Estate Agent with Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers HRE# 58089 - RS

the Kuau shoreline - Maui north shore ocean views

 What's a TSUNAMI?

  • a series of ocean waves that can be a threat to residents of coastal areas
  • may last for several hours
  • may be generated by earthquakes nearby or far away
  • may come at any time with little or no warning
  • may be monitored by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWS)


Today seems like a fitting day for this topic, with the 8.8 earthquake in Chile generating a wave that's coming our way here in Hawaii.

It's 9:40 am and we're under a tsunami warning, meaning we are expecting a tsunami around 11:30 am here on Maui, Hawaii.

Some parts of Maui have already been evacuated, as of very early this morning - see the civil defense notification here.

Are you prepared on Maui?  Take the preparedness test.  Look for the maps in your telephone book yellow pages which will show the historical food inundation zones.

Don't worry, there is a very loud WARNING SIREN located in coastal areas. There will probably be plenty of time to warn Hawaii residents of any impending tsunamis.

The siren is tested on or about the first day of the month, so don't be alarmed if you hear this. Simply tune in to any radio/TV station for instructions on evacuation procedure. The last tsunami on Maui's northshore was in 1964, caused by an earthquake in Alaska. Residents were warned, and no lives were lost. Strong earthquakes that originate in Hawaii are rare. Even if there is a tsunami warning, it doesn't mean there definitely will be a tsunami. In 1984 there was a "false alarm" and everyone waited for the big one that thankfully never came.

What does this have to do with real estate?  If you own oceanfront property on Maui, you'll want to know about tsunamis!  You will need flood insurance from the government.

Whatever you do, don't go down to the beach to pick up fish. And don't go surfing!

Aloha from Maui - STAY SAFE ~ Georgina M. Hunter R(S) e-Pro ~ EMAIL ~ 808 283-0635

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Comments 20 New Comment

Carra Riley
Author, Speaker, Consultant, Carra Riley Inc.

Georgina....I'm very glad all is well in the islands.  Having lived on Maui in the late '80s and early 90s, I am familiar with the tsunami warning system.  It is great to have early warning in the event of such a disaster.

Cosmic Cow

March 01, 2010 09:49 AM
Mary Douglas
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
United Country Ponderosa Realty

Hi Georgina, I'm glad to hear all is well, the early warning system is a very ggod thing.  It's hard to comprehend living in an area prone to tsunami - I guess it is a small price compared to the beauty of the islands.

March 01, 2010 02:26 PM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi
Palm Harbor Florida Residential Real Estate
Charles Rutenberg Realty

thank heaven that nothing happened out there! You were in my thoughts and prayers, as were all the residents of that island paradise!

March 02, 2010 02:19 PM
Robert (Vegas Bob) Swetz
Commercial & Residential Real Estate Agent

Hello Georgina and I have some men I work with that have all their family back in Hawaii and everyone there should feel very "Lucky" the tsunami died down out in The Pacific.

VB ;o)

March 02, 2010 07:32 PM
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

Except for those daring brave and silly fishermen who like to run into the Tsunami as it is pulling back to gather up the exposed fish! 

March 03, 2010 07:04 PM

Georgie Hunter

Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
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