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Tsunami Facts

There is no tsunami season. An earthquake or landslide anywhere in the Pacific can generate tsunami waves that can travel across the ocean at more than 500 miles per hour. In Hawai'i, we also can experience locally generated tsunami, especially from the direct results and side effects of our active volcanoes.

There is no average or normal tsunami. There is usually more than one wave and the first is not always the worst. The tsunami can last for hours, with waves typically spaced from 10 to 60 minutes (5 to 90 minutes possible).

Tsunami are not just big surf. These waves are not tidal waves and do not result from offshore storms as many of our high surf surges do. They are not good for surfing!

You cannot outrun a wave. Sometimes the water recedes making beachcombing very tempting. But when the wave comes, it comes fast!

More about: Tsunami | Pacific Tsunami Museum 



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