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April is ‘Tsunami Awareness Month’ in Hawaii


Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, Jr. will officially announce Tsunami Awareness Month at an Oahu school to emphasize the importance of tsunami education.

Tsunami Awareness Month is held in April to commemorate the 159 lives lost to the April 1, 1946, devastating tsunami – the most destructive in Hawaii’s history.

NOAA scientists and Civil Defense volunteers are systematically visiting every school across the state located in tsunami danger zones to help them understand the risks of tsunami and improve their evacuation plans.

During student assemblies, experts talk about tsunami safety, provide educational materials, and answer questions. They also meet with school safety committee members to review emergency plans.

During April and May, NOAA will sponsor display booths and keiki activities at several public events on Oahu and the Big Island to help families prepare for tsunamis. Scientists from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the International Tsunami Information Center will be available to speak to the public.

Big Island events include:

* Statewide Tsunami Communications Test
Wednesday, March 24, 7 a.m. – noon
In conjunction with similar exercises in the Atlantic, Gulf, West Coast states, and Pacific Island nations. Sponsors: NOAA and Hawaii State Civil Defense. (No public involvement.)

* Pacific Tsunami Museum Open House – Free Admission
Saturday, April 10, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
130 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, 935-0926

* 22nd Annual Hawaii Community College Earth Day Fair
Friday, April 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
University of Hawaii Hilo Campus, 974-7537
NOAA and Civil Defense partners will sponsor keiki activities and provide tsunami preparedness information.

* 8th Annual Tsunami Talk Story Festival: “Hilo Perseveres”
Sunday, May 23, 2010, 6 p.m.
Pacific Tsunami Museum, Sangha Hall, 130 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo, 935-0926
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the May 22, 1960 tsunami, dinner and program will recognize family-owned businesses that have survived two tsunamis and a war and are still thriving today.

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