A strong magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck at 8:04 am Hawaii time near Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific; it was followed at 8:18 am by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake located just south of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii; according to Hawaii County Civil Defense and other state officials, there are no tsunami threats from either earthquake.
In an alert issued to Hawaii County residents, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said, “The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) reports an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 occurred at approximately 8:04 AM HST in the vicinity of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirms there is NO TSUNAMI THREAT to the Island and State of Hawaii.”
The National Weather Service Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu, Hawaii also issued a bulletin on the Papua New Guinea earthquake: “Based on all available data, a destructive Pacific-wide tsunami is not expected and there is no tsunami threat to Hawaii.”
Since the 1990s, Hawaii has used April as Tsunami Awareness Month. Federal, State, and Local government agencies, the Pacific Tsunami Museum, and other non-profit organizations team together to sponsor awareness and outreach events aimed at sustaining awareness of Hawaii’s tsunami hazards.
Yesterday, April 1, was the anniversary of the April Fool’s Day Tsunami of 1946. A tsunami from the Aleutian islands surprised Hawaii, killing 158 people across the state. Due to that event, the U.S. launched the U.S. Seismic Sea Wave Warning System in 1949 which later became known as the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.