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Caution urged when swimming; Hanauma Bay remains closed

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:12 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012

The tsunami warning is history but officials stressed that swimmers and mariners should still be cautious in the water. Most beaches reopened this morning after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted the tsunami advisory just before 4 a.m.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center downgraded Saturday night’s warning to an advisory after it was clear that the waves were not destructive and then lifted the advisory as waves and surges diminshed.

Officials cautioned that swimmers may still see unusual currents and boaters may also see some tidal changes.

Many beaches across the state reopened this morning, after the advisory was lifted. 

But the popular snorkeling beach at Hanauma Bay on Oahu remains closed, said Ocean Safety spokeswoman Shayne Enright. 

She said officials saw tsunami surges at the bay overnight. Because Hanauma is a bay, tsunami surges can be amplified by the action of the water within the bay and officials are keeping the beach closed as a precaution, Enright said.

Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, advised the state’s 175,000 visitors to also heed warnings and stay safe.

“After a tsunami warning, maybe stay away from the water for a day,” he said. “When there's big waves on North Shore, you don't go in the water. Maybe (today) just stay close to shore, don't go in the water (today) until you hear further reports from authorities.”

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