Saturday, March 12, 2011

Experiencing the Hawaii Tsunami

We're currently on vacation in Hawaii, specifically the Big Island. Unlike our last trip here we stayed up in the resort area of Kohala so we were away from the major damage that struck Kailua town. Yesterday afternoon after the main tsunami watch was over there was another wave that came ashore up here that we watched from the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Everything up here was spared, however, there was "significant damage" to the Four Seasons and the Kona Village resort - I hear that they have closed indefinitely until further notice.

We evacuated around 10 p.m. the night before the tsunami hit, gathering all of our belongings, food, water, pillows and blankets and making for higher ground (1000 feet above sea level in Waikoloa Village). We were among the first to get to the parking lot up there, but by midnight or so it was full with other evacuees. Until about 4 a.m. my cell phone service was terrible at best, non-existent at worse. We slept on & off throughout the night, listening to the local radio stations interview hotel managers and civil service agents throughout the night about the state of the tsunami and when it would make landfall. By all accounts, Hawaii had been somewhat spared. That was, until later that morning.

Now, I know this is nothing like what Indonesia/Thailand and Japan experienced with their tsunamis, but to say that Hawaii was spared would be a lie. To call it the "tsunami that wasn't" like one travel blogger did on Twitter is an insult to the folks who lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods. In fact, one family's house floated away into the bay at Captain Cook. I doubt very much they'd consider this NOT a significant event, and yet the mainland news was reporting that Hawaii was "fine" and nothing happened. Really? I think these videos tell a very different story.

1 comment:

  1. What a vacation you guys had. I bet you could tell alot of stories about this one. Pretty scary stuff. Glad everything worked out for you. It probably wasn't an easy night spending it in your car though.


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