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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 7:41 a.m., Wednesday, May 3, 2006

State emergency center activated

Advertiser Staff

The state Civil Defense emergency operating center was activated at 5:43 a.m., just a few minutes after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued an alert that an earthquake near Tonga may have generated a tsunami.

Ray Lovell, state civil defense spokesman, said agency workers contacted 30 to 35 key individuals to tell them about the alert.

When the Tsunami Warning Center issued a second bulletin about 6:35 a.m., civil defense workers at the Burkhimer Tunnel in the Diamond Head crater made a second round of calls to people and agencies on the distribution list to let them know that tsunami experts had concluded there did not appear to be a destructive threat to Hawaii.

Lovell said the emergency operating center will continue operations until it is certain that the threat of a tsunami has passed.

The first effects of the tsunami, which are now expected to be a minor rise in sea levels and stronger than normal currents, are expected to be felt here about 11:33 a.m.