Fears of radiation in Hawaii resulting from Japan’s devastation continue to swirl in both traditional and social media. Reports have varied widely but have included concerns of nuclear rain clouds and more.
Reality Check: Air based pollutants are likely to reach Hawaii last.
Japan is considerably north of Hawaii and the jet stream continues to flow far to the north of the state. The Department of Health radiation monitor in Honolulu has picked up only a “minuscule” amount of radiation. It is likely in fact, based on the jet stream, that air based radiation would arrive in Hawaii last, having traveled around the globe first.
Nuclear radiation experts at University of Hawaii’s School of Medicine have indicated that the oceanic radiation emanating from Japan is tantamount to adding a drop of dye in a vast quantity of water.
Hawaii is open for business
Governor Abercrombie has continued to assure residents and visitors that no radiation issue exists in Hawaii. “We are open for business. Hawaii continues to be the world’s paradise.” Speaking on the situation in Japan he added, “as one island people to another, we stand with them in solidarity and in sympathy for the challenges they are facing.”
[pullquote]Japan’s nuclear emergency presents no danger to Hawai’i. — Gov. Abercrombie[/pullquote]
Hawaii Radiation Monitored
The Department of Health has in place two radiation monitors, one in Honolulu and the other in Hilo. As a precautionary measure, the EPA has also sent two additional monitors due to the incident in Japan.
Hawaii Health department spokesperson Janice Okubo said, “we don’t expect to pick up anything.”
Japanese Visitors Will Return
I was asked last week by Frommers to comment on the Japanese crisis from the standpoint of the impact on our state’s tourism. You can read about that on their blog.
Even though Hawaii has seen cancellations by Japanese visitors since the earthquake, it is still too soon to know how protracted that will be. But Japanese are unquestionably resilient, and when they return to their beloved Hawaii, I anticipate larger numbers than we’ve seen for some time.
It is still too early to predict the impact of the crisis on tourism from the US mainland.
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