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“Tsunami Museum, Hilo, HI”

Pacific Tsunami Museum
Ranked #11 of 82 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Since the Volcanoes National Park was closed by the federal government shutdown, we spent the day in Hilo, and I'm glad we did. The Pacific Tsunami Museum is right downtown, in the area that was wiped out by a big one in the late 1940's (I think). The building is one of the few that survived along what used to be the third block in from the harbor. We enjoyed the personal introductory tour by a very knowledgeable and pleasant staff member, and then went through the rest of the exhibits on our own. While not a real large place, we spent about two hours there and learned a lot about tsunamis. Several of the displays focus on stories of survivors and have photos and artifacts of their experiences. The best part was the videos of their first-person interviews. It was fascinating and quite moving. We learned about the tsunami warning system for the Pacific Ocean, which allows plenty of time for people a few hundred miles away from the starting point to seek shelter, and gives at least a few minutes for those closer to the undersea earthquake to scramble for high ground. Another display told of the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004(?) that killed hundreds of thousands of people who had no warning of it, since that ocean has no warning system similar to the Pacific. Sad. There were plenty of staff members available to answer questions, and also a small gift shop. Not real fancy, but all very interesting, especially for coastal dwellers like us.

Thank AmPup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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279 - 283 of 450 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2013

Interesting little museum, but somewhat overpriced. Nice staff and decent exhibits, but the museum is quite small and the cost, for what you get, is a bit steep. You can see everything in the museum and watch the video presentation in about an hour.

Thank foolrex2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2013

This is the most interesting museum I've been in, I think. I was fascinated with the pictures and films of the Hawaiian tsunamis. More recent tsunamis are also included. A "must see" if you are in Hilo, Hawaii. You feel as if you were there.

1  Thank sally_elizabeth2010
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Reviewed 20 October 2013

The museum is small, but the very fact that we spent 3 hours there is testament to how well the space has been used. It provides context for a lot of what you see elsewhere on the island, from the evacuation zone signs everywhere to the memorial up at Laupahoehoe. The more modern exhibits make excellent use of video, and demonstrate that a small museum like this can do full justice to its subject matter.

Thank Stuart_and_Becky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2013

Worth a visit when in Hilo. The twenty minute documentary is an informative narrative on the two tsunamis that devastated Hilo in the 40's and 60's. Other exhibits explain tsunamis and their impact on the people and coastal environments in Hawaii and around the world.

Thank C0nstantlyOnTheG0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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