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(Sat., Feb. 27, 2010)—Mayor Mufi Hannemann congratulated Honolulu’s public safety personnel and other officials for their smooth and effective implementation of emergency procedures during today’s tsunami watch and evacuations, and he thanked the public for cooperating.


            “In emergencies, it’s critical that everyone take appropriate precautions, heed warnings, remain calm, and work together,” said Hannemann, who returned to Honolulu from Washington D.C shortly after 5 p.m. “Everyone did that today, with very few exceptions, and the result was the successful evacuation of inundation zones and the protection of the public.”


            Hannemann was notified by Department of Emergency Management Director Melvin Kaku when the tsunami threat was first detected, and Hannemann ordered that the City and County of Honolulu Emergency Operating Center be activated and fully staffed. The Center was activated at 9:14 p.m. last night to coordinate City emergency preparation and response activities, and remained open throughout the night and today, until the danger had passed.


The mayor received regular updates on the situation from City officials during the night and as he traveled home, and assisted with coordination of the City’s response during a layover in Houston.


            “I’m very proud of our police officers, firefighters, emergency management personnel, lifeguards, bus workers and the many others who worked long and hard today to prevent a potential tragedy,” Hannemann said.


The Mayor especially thanked City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell, who served as Acting Mayor while Hannemann was in Washington and directly oversaw the City’s response. Hannemann also thanked Hawaii National Guard Adjutant General and State Civil Defense Director Robert G. F. Lee, and Hawaii Civil Defense Vice Director Edward Teixeira for the State’s close cooperation with Hawaii’s counties during this emergency.


            “The entire response was swift, smooth and effective,” said Hannemann, who publicly expressed his appreciation during a national television news interview upon his return to Honolulu. “Mahalo to everyone involved.”




Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928