Tsunami cleanup continues: Civil Defense chief talks response, preparation

  • Rocks and sand are strewn across the Kahaluu Beach parking lot Saturday morning after a tsunami wave hit around 2 a.m. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Chairs are strewn at Sea Quest Hawaii at Keauhou Bay after an early Saturday morning tsunami wave surged through the building. (Liam Powers/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Kahaluu Beach Park was closed for a third day Monday following Saturday's tsunami that smashed picnic tables and pushed sand and rocks far inland. The park is expected to remain closed today while crews complete work, including restoring ADA access and removing more than 5 inches of sand that washed up over areas. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

  • A lifeguard talks to a visitor Monday afternoon informing her of why Kahaluu Beach Park was closed for a third day following Saturday's tsunami that smashed picnic tables and pushed sand and rocks far inland. The park is expected to remain closed today while crews complete work, including restoring ADA access and removing more than 5 inches of sand that washed up over areas. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

The Big Island may have escaped major damage Saturday when a tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in Tonga reached Hawaii, but the event should serve as a reminder for newcomers and residents alike to be prepared for natural disasters.