Earthquakes and Tsunamiʻs

Just over 24 hours ago I was enjoying myself at home with the ohana, watching television, working on the computer with my usual two browers, three windows, and 12 tabs open, when I thoughtlessly retweeted: “Strong earthquake strikes northern Japan, rattling buildings in Tokyo; tsunami warning issued – AP” from Twitter. I carried on with the 10 other things I was doing, and probably 15 solid minutes later my fuzzy logic kicked in and I (in turrets fashion) shouted for a family member to change the channel to a local station immediately.

After a few commercials the scheduled program returned and was interrupted by our local News. Almost instantly they had up footage of the current destruction happening in Japan from Reuter. It was like nothing I have ever seen before, watching live, as a tsunami ripped up their city. And with an 8.9 or 9.1 magnitude earthquake, I couldnʻt shake the images out of my mind, thinking we were inescapably next. Our Sandwich Islands are smack dab in the middle of Asia and the Continental U.S. with nothing much in this pissed off tsunamiʻs way.

Twitter was blowing up with live feed concerning breaking news, and I managed to pull up an updated tsunami evacuation map and was left a little uneasy. With mixed emotions of having a front-row seat to potential devastation all we could do was be proactive for the worst. In all honestly, itʻd have to be armageddon for our hale (house) to be affected by a tsunami…

I took a shower, packed a “just in case” bag, sent every one off to bed and got comfortable on my couch with the TV and my laptop informing me of repeat and breaking news. From 9:59PM – 2:59AM civil defense sounded the emergency sirens EVERY HOUR. It was very unnerving to hear, especially at night.

All night, even now, I have had such a heavy heart for Japan. If you havenʻt seen this footage, itʻs pretty intense. Absolutely devastating…

Here is the wave height and energy from NOAA…

Family and friends from all over were getting wind of the current events and the facebook messages, text messages, and phone calls started pouring in. Of course our lines were jammed for a bit, but I was thoroughly impressed that I could get through at all, and I wasnʻt having any internet issues.

The 1st wave was scheduled to hit Nawiliwili, Kauaʻi at 3:07AM, Honolulu at 3:21AM, Kahului at 3:27AM, and Hilo/Kona at 3:46AM. Unfortunately for us our local News only had live coverage from various locations on Oʻahu, and nothing for the outer islands, which makes the “waiting” a little more difficult with all the wondering…

The ocean began acting strange around 3AM, and as the first wave hit Kauaʻi, water didnʻt go higher than their vegetation and they had little to no damages reported. By the time the 1st wave hit Oʻahu the surging was unbelievably noticeable. The ocean went from creepy calm, to choppy and confused, to completely receded with yards of exposed reef. I had never seen anything like it.

Maui was reported to have got hit the hardest in Kahului. Reports had Kahului topping out at six feet, and were thought to have been between 9 and 11 feet surges. Kona was also hit pretty hard, in fact here is some good footage someone [stupidly] caught. Apparently his show was collateral damage…

Hereʻs a picture of Aliʻi Drive in Kailua-Kona

Hereʻs a picture of Kanaha Beach Park on Maui…

Amala Place and Hobron Ave

Maʻalaea Harbor, Maui

Kaʻahumanu Avenue and Puʻunene, Kahului

Between Maui Mall and Burger King in Kahului

Today was spent revisiting these abandoned areas and cleaning up. If one thing is for sure, our islands are resilient to mother nature. Most people had the day off unless they were called in, and I was thankful to have a quiet morning. My afternoon was spent with my Godchildren, and I couldnʻt be more thankful. Yes, there is damages, and this tsunami did leave itʻs mark, however it could have been way worse.

Here is a video I appreciated enough to share with you… The music is by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole also known as Braddah IZ

While I sit here, exhausted, on my comfortable couch in the safety of my home, I mourn for those in Japan. I was able to share a fantastic meal with my family tonight, and it seemed so surreal.. circumstances could have been different. And I am beyond thankful for our safety.

If you are interested and able to donate to the Red Cross for the Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami disaster relief, please click here: 


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