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What's New at the Museum?

Clean Energy

In 2014 The Pacific Tsunami Museum is undergoing a complete energy efficiency program including the installation of photovoltaic panels, as well as improvements to the air conditioning system and lighting retrofitting. Using clean renewable solar power will help lower our costs and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

solar panels

Japan Exhibit

An exhibit is in place that describes the terrible tsunami tragedy in Japan in 2011. The exhibit portrays the science and the human side of this event. The effects seen in Hawaii and in California are also shown.

Alaska 1964 Exhibit

The earthquake and tsunamis in Alaska are explained in pictures and through survivor interview videos on a kiosk. The areas of Seward, Kodiak Island, and Valdez are depicted.

Lapahoehoe Exhibit

A group of artists painted a wall mural of Laupahoehoe peninsula prior to 1946. The artistic creation was designed and painted by Elfie Wilkins and two of her students, Lena Higa and Ruth Iwata. Everyone who sees it marvels at its beauty and happy feeling. The exhibit features survivor stories, and how decisions made on that fateful day of April 1, 1946 made all the difference. The title of the exhibit is "Laupahoehoe - Stories of Fate".

Laupahoehoe pre-1946 tsunami



The Energy Of Moving Water Exhibit:
The Wave Machine

The Wave Machine and design team
The Wave Machine and design team


First student group to participate in "Energy of Water" program
School groups have visited and taken part in a
standards-based experience with the museum
exhibits, including the Wave Machine.


Meeting Science Standards Through Inquiry:
A "Complex" Ed-venture

The Pacific Tsunami Museum has been part of the "Meeting Science Standards Through Inquiry" educational project. The project engages teachers in research/inquiry-based teaching, partners schools with community resources and develops community-based assessment tools to gauge student learning. The project focuses on increasing 6th grade physical science proficiency, addressing educational benchmarks and standards.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum developed a new exhibit called the "Energy of Moving Water: The Wave Machine" that demonstrates energy in tsunamis. The design team also identified science benchmarks within existing exhibits. The new exhibit opened at the museum on April 1, 2009, and students have been coming to hear a relevant presentation and visit the exhibits.

A service learning fair featuring standards-based student presentations and on-site assessment culminates the project. The learning fair occurred on May 16 at the Prince Kuhio Mall, where the museum had a booth. There were displays of student projects, demonstrations, experiments, and art.


2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Exhibit

The "Indian Ocean Tsunami" exhibit features touch-screen video kiosks that show what happened when the tsunami was triggered, as well as including a number of very touching survivor stories. An informative map illustrates the areas hit, lists loss of life for various areas (estimated to be between 230,000 and 300,000 people), and provides wave runup heights. Text and image displays show 'before and after' scenes and the incredible impact on the areas affected, including Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives. There is the story of the Sri Lankan train disaster and the saga of one woman's heroic aid efforts. The amazing experience of a man carried to sea and back again is quite moving, particularly because the t-shirt he was wearing is contained within the display. There is a fascinating account of indigenous people who survived because they recognized the signs of the impending tsunami. Recovery efforts and lessons learned are also featured. A timeline depicts the sequence of events. The exhibit provides a wealth of information; if you are in Hilo, plan to stop by and see it. You will undoubtedly be moved by the pictures, video, and text. Click here to hear a siren from Indonesia.


All materials © Copyright 1996-2013 Pacific Tsunami Museum Inc.
130 Kamehameha Ave Hilo, HI 96720 tel: 808-935-0926 FAX: 808-935-0842 email:
Last Revised November 2013