Thousands of Kaua‘i residents and visitors exhaled a collective sigh of relief Friday morning after receiving the “all clear.”
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center initially forecast a 6-foot wave rolling into Kaua‘i with the potential to cause serious devastation to coastal areas. When it arrived in its weakened state just after 3 a.m., a modest bump in sea levels was recorded.
Reports of 6- to 8-foot waves were received from Hanalei, county officials said. Port Allen reported waves coming in 2 feet above the pier. Unusual wave activity was also reported at Keoneloa Bay in Po‘ipu and at Nawiliwili Harbor.
Public works road crews cleared sand that had apparently been washed across Lawa‘i Road in the vicinity of the Lawa‘i Beach Resort, county officials said.
The most severe damage in the Isles was reported at boat harbors on Maui and Big Island.
The Associated Press reported that on the western shore just off Kailua Kona, firefighters spotted a floating home in Kealakekua Bay and seven others damaged by at least one large wave, said Quince Mento with the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency. Buildings 11 miles north in Kailua Kona on the Big Island also suffered extensive damage.
No Harmful Radiation Expected in Hawaii
On March 18, the Environmental Protection Agency said that air monitoring readings taken in Hawaii show no elevated levels of radiation.
On March 17, President Obama reiterated to all Americans that no harmful levels of radiation are expected to reach Hawaii, the West Coast, or the Pacific Territories as a result of damage to nuclear plants in Japan.
In addition, experts, most notably U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, have repeatedly declared that there is no evidence indicating that Hawaii is in any danger.Finally, Governor Abercrombie echoed the President’s and NRC’s assessment in his statement issued March 17.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported Friday morning that Kaua‘i fared the best among the Hawaiian islands. So, if you have reservations or are planning a Hawaii vacation or business trip in the future, there is no need to change your plans.