Hawaii CAP Cessnas Helped Spread Tsunami Warning
March 4, 2010 — The 13th Air Force in support of the state of Hawaii Civil Defense launched planes from Civil Air Patrol’s Hawaii Wing early last Saturday (February 27) for statewide tsunami warnings following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile.
“Eighty percent of the shoreline in Hawaii does not have a fixed base siren,” said Hawaii Wing Commander Col. Roger Caires. “CAP aircraft are the only resource for issuing tsunami warnings, via a speaker system attached to the outside lower portion of their plane’s fuselage.”
Nine Cessnas with full crews flew pre-assigned warning routes around the islands to look for anybody on or near the shoreline. The planes began sounding the tsunami warning at 6 a.m. Hawaii time, five hours before the waves were predicted to arrive. The first tsunami waves reached the island chain just before noon but video of the surf at Hilo Bay, a hot spot of past tsunami wave activity, showed only erratic tide movement but no significant waves. The all- clear signal was given by 2 p.m.
“I am proud of our members,” said Caires. “They again met the standard of being ready to launch within one hour.”