This small museum provides a wealth of multimedia information on tsunamis and their effect on the Pacific islands. Docents, many of whom are actual tsunami survivors, are more than happy to share their experiences and guide guests through the displays.
Television sets are anchored throughout the museum and play short videos to accompany the stories recounted on the walls. There are several interactive displays, including one that teaches visitors about the Tsunami Warning System by allowing them "create" a tsunami and then decide whether or not it is strong enough to warrant evacuation.
The building is a renovated bank which managed to withstand both the 1946 and 1960 tsunamis. The museum has turned the old vault into a theater where an introductory movie is shown recounting the stories of tsunami survivors. The Pacific Tsunami Museum is well worth the time and $7 admission fee to gain a greater understanding of the natural disaster that has shaped the town of Hilo. It is located at 130 Kamehameha Ave at the corner of Kalakaua Street. Metered parking is available on Kamehameha and the one-way Kalakaua Street. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission price is $8 general. 808-935-0926 www.tsunami.org.