Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes

In late November 2003, Hilo was hit with huge waves, generated from a storm NE of the islands. This storm remained stationary over a large area, producing 40 - 50 knot winds; it was composed of a low pressure system, with a high pressure system trailing behind. The difference between the two systems created the large winds, and subsequently, the amazing swell which was aimed directly at Hilo Bay. Although this storm was not a hurricane, it illustrates the kind of damage that storm surge from a hurricane can produce. Many residents compared the 2003 damage to the destruction left by tsunami waves, prompting CSAV to produce a video comparing the 2003 storm with tsunami waves, He'e Nalu: But Never Try to Surf a Tsunami. Stay dry!

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Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes

Darcy Bevens

CSAV is based at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Since 1990, we have been providing educational and training programs about volcanoes and earthquakes. In the mid-1990's, we branched off and began educational programs about hurricanes, tsunamis, and…


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CSAV is based at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Since 1990, we have been providing educational and training programs about volcanoes and earthquakes. In the mid-1990's, we branched off and began educational programs about hurricanes, tsunamis, and other natural hazards as well.

Three UH-Hilo web sites (CSAV, Natural Hazards Hawaii, and Geology) have featured low-res photos and videos for years. We are currently rebuilding the videos in high-res, and as we do, they will appear on this channel. In addition, watch for periodic new videos of eruption conditions, tsunamis, and whatever else Mother Nature sends our way.

Current equipment: Sony DCR VX2100 Handycam & Sachtler tripod. Computer: Mac G5; editing with Final Cut Pro.

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