In Hawaii, low-tech warning systems alert residents to tsunami threat

Sites like Twitter and Google’s crisis center have proved indispensible during the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that struck Japan.

The news was grim this morning: An 8.9 magnitude earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami in Japan and sparked warnings and evacuations across the Pacific.

The Wall Street Journal
reports that waves hit Kauai in Hawaii early this morning.

To warn its residents of the tsunami, officials in Hawaii dispatched low-tech warning systems. When the tsunami warning was issued for the Pacific around 9:30 p.m. local time in Hawaii, sirens blared across the islands and trucks with loud speakers drove through neighborhoods.

Mindy Pennybacker, a Huffington Post blogger, reported:

A truck is circling our neighborhood, with a man giving an emergency management message over a loudspeaker: ‘Extremely dangerous waves are expected at 3 am. Occupants of high-rise buildings are advised to go to the third floor or above without delay.’

However, in the aftermath of the tsunami that struck Japan, social media has stepped up—as it’s done after earthquakes in New Zealand and Chile—providing constant updates on Twitter.

Google also launched a crisis center with information and a Person Finder tool that enables people to search for people who may be affected by the tsunami.

For updated news on the tsunami and its effects—including dramatic images and video—check out the Lede blog at The New York Times.

(Image via)


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