Hawaii Gov signs disaster declaration

Published February 27, 2010 7:50PM (EST)

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has declared a state of emergency as the island chain prepares for possible tsunami damage.

She told a news conference Saturday at the state civil defense center inside Diamond Head Crater that the declaration would allow the release of disaster funds. She says the U.S. Pacific Command is standing by to help.

She says authorities are deciding whether to close wastewater pumping stations on Oahu and Maui to prevent damage from seawater.

Lingle says leprosy patients from the Kalaupapa settlement on Molokai have been moved from an isolated area on a peninsula to higher ground. Helicopters are standing by if they need to be shifted elsewhere.

By Jaymes Song

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