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The scenes we are about to show are graphic and
depict the violent nature of tsunamis. They may
not be suitable for young children.
Tsunami Scene Discussion
• Tsunami sounds
like “thousands of
• No warning?
to detect it first.)
• Tsunami looks like
a “huge black
• Maria clung to a
tree and survived.
The actual tsunami at a resort in Thailand
Did they get the science right?
Mostly, yes. Survivors say the film
depicted actual events very well.
However, the movie does not show the initial recession
of the water and accurate timing between waves.
• The earthquake fault
pushes water up on
one side and down on
• The first wave going
one direction (west)
was crest-first, but the
first wave going the
other direction (east)
• So Thailand first saw
a recession of the sea.
Actual Tsunami Footage
Video shot by survivors at resorts in Thailand shows the power of the tsunami
and the safety of vertical evacuation.
Near-Drowning Scene Discussion
• Violence of the
• You can’t swim in
• Each wave carries
• Maria’s wounds:
broken nose, torn
Over 5100 people died in Thailand
Aftermath Scene Discussion
• Get to safety
• Be strong.
• Help others if
Devastation in Thailand
Phone Scene Discussion
• Have an out-of-
state person you
can call and
• Phones and power
will be limited.
• Dealing with the
• Generosity of
Despair in searching for loved ones
Could “The Impossible”
happen here in Hawaii?
• Many resorts and tourists in both places.
• Similar education and evacuation challenges.
• Similar tropical climates.
• Hawaii has no subduction zone nearby. Large local
tsunamis are extremely unlikely here.
• Most large tsunamis in Hawaii come from far away and
give ample time to evacuate.
• Hawaii has a well-developed tsunami warning system.
Tsunamis Affecting Hawaii
Major Tsunamis in
April 1, 1946 – Alaska (M 8.6)
May 22, 1960 – Chile (M 9.5)
Travel Times to Hawaii:
Local – minutes
Alaska – 5 hours
Japan – 7 hours
S. Pacific – 7 hours
Chile – 14 hours
Tsunami Safety Tips
• If you are near the beach and feel strong earthquake shaking, that is
your warning. Head to higher ground.
§ Walking mauka for 15-20 minutes or going to the 4th floor of a strong
building is usually sufficient. Do not drive!
• An unusual draining of the sea is a natural tsunami warning sign,
although this doesn’t happen in every tsunami situation.
• A tsunami is a series of waves, and the first wave may not be the
§ Since the time between waves is 5-60 minutes, the danger can last for
several hours. Be prepared with food, water, and a radio.
• Tsunami waves wrap around islands, so all coastlines are at risk.
• If a warning is issued, follow instructions.
§ Local warnings (for tsunamis generated in Hawaii) require immediate
action, but warnings from distant events are less urgent.
• If you are in a boat at sea, make sure you’re in deep water and stay
there. Bays and harbors, however, are dangerous places.
Stay safe and enjoy the beach!
NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
1845 Wasp Blvd Bldg 176
Honolulu, HI 96818