Saturday 27 February 2010

Tsunami Warning!

Hi all

Instead of being woken up by the alarm clock, Sam and I woke at 6:00am to warning sirens echoing throughout the islands! An 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile and sent a tsunami wave heading straight towards Hawai‘i!

For the safety of all of the volunteer helpers, the Ocean Count was cancelled state-wide and all coastal areas were evacuated. Luckily, Sam and I were staying with a sanctuary intern whose apartment was located on the 12th floor, 2 miles from the coast so we were, literally, high and dry.
To be on the safe side, I ventured out with Sam several hours before the tsunami was scheduled to arrive to stock up on water, batteries, candles, flashlights and canned foods. For the rest of the day Sam and I listened to the radio, watched the news and kept an eye on the ocean through binoculars from their 12th story lookout.
There was lots of activity, both on land and water as people scrambled to prepare and boats hauled out from port to weather the incoming waves. The only action that we didn’t spot was whale activity—the whales too must have sensed thwe danger and kept diving down to keep themselves and their calves safe.

Anyway, the tsunami was scheduled to hit Oahu at about 11:30am. While tsunami waves did arrive they didn't get higher than a few feet and there was no damage or injuries and everything settled back to normal by the evening. The warning was lifted mid afternoon.

We were safe, but I heard on the news that hundreds of people had died in Chile where the earthquake originated. We all sat in silence for a while feeling sad and feeling lucky that we were safe.

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