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Hawaii on tsunami alert: The experience from Waikiki
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Jeremy Hobson: That is the sound of the warning sirens just minutes ago in Honolulu, which is under the threat of a tsunami right now. Officials are expecting impact — if there is one — would be about two hours from now. Marketplace’s Adriene Hill is in Honolulu and she joins us now live. Adriene, it’s just coming up to 1 o’clock in the morning there. What’s going on?
Adriene Hill: Well right now I’m at a hotel on Waikiki — it’s right on the ocean. The hotel has basically evacuated the the guests who are below the 6th floor up to higher floors. But I called down and they said I’m on the 17th, so I’m safe here. They say it’s a tsunami-proof hotel, so we should be OK. Police are going up and down the street on bull horns telling people to get to higher ground.
Hobson: And probably the people who live in Hawaii are used to this sort of thing, at least more so than the tourists who flood where you are in Honolulu. What’s the experience like for them right now?
Hill: Right now the streets and the beach that I can see sort of out my hotel room are nearly empty, so tourists seem to have gotten the word. And again, you heard the sirens. The police have been out. They’re definitely doing all they can. Some cell-phone providers are down — just jammed with calls. They’re encouraging tourists to text instead of be on the phone. Earlier this evening I went down to buy some extra water at the convenience store, just in case, and I wasn’t the only person with that idea. There were long, long lines — people buying water, bread, cereal — and they were actually closing that store down so the employees could get to higher ground.
Hobson: Marketplace’s Adriene Hill in Honolulu. Thanks and stay safe, Adriene.
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