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Governor issues emergency proclamation as waves approach

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:52 p.m. HST, Oct 27, 2012

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has issued an emergency proclamation for the state of Hawaii as the tsunami from the Pacific Northwest heads toward the islands.

"Authorized personnel are working under authority of emergency proclamation. ... It affects all islands and shorelines," he said.

"I want to make sure everybody understands how serious this is," Abercrombie said. "We're getting reports of people trying drive to shore areas, endangering other people trying leave shore areas. I want to make crystal clear to everybody to have all the authorities on all of the islands to take appropriate actions or control whatever needs to be done for civil defense purposes. We have full mobilization of our civil defense organizations in advance of the possible consequences of these waves coming."

Officials have the authority to shut off water mains, gas mains, power connects if necessary, he said.

"Please do not leave your home if you are at home now. If you are in a hotel, go vertically. Follow the plans the hotels have. If you are on the road now listening get to higher ground. Do not go towards the shore. Anybdoy going toward shore is going to be subject to those who have authority."

"This is a dangerous situation. We want to have everybody evacuate. We have plenty of time. Everybody needs to stay calm stay cool, work together to act in a correct way and do the right thing," the governor said.

He cautioned that a tsunami can be a series of waves. "It may be several and they go on for various lengths of time. We think most of the wave action will take place within a relatively short time no matter where the shoreline is if its going to come to any given shore because of the direction the tsunami is heading toward us."

He also urged people not to make cell phone calls unless it is absolutely necessary, and that it was better to text than call, if possible.

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