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Big Island quake: What you need to know about potential tsunami threats

5:33am… and the earth moved just off the Big Island.

At essentially the same time.. Computer screens lit up at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Scientists have critical decisions to make. Is it big enough to cause damage?

Could it cause a tsunami?

“They see this information available. They use their judgment and when the perimeters look good enough the official product is issued,” says Stuart Weinstein deputy director pacific tsunami warning center

That product could be an alert, a watch, and in extreme cases, A warning!

All this happens in two to three minutes.

“For a big earthquake it might take more time to accurately size it up. Our requirement is to get out an official message product within five minutes of a quake,’ says Weinstein.

He adds you really can’t predict an earthquake.. So it’s all about the reaction.

Guidelines are already in place.

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