When I said it was a crazy month, I wasn't joking. I came home late last night, only to wake up to phone calls from friends and family concerned about the approaching tsunami which may soon affect all Hawaiian islands in the next couple of hours. I turned the news on and this doesn't seem like the typical tsunami warning that quickly fades into a tsunami advisory, as a 3 inch wave fizzles by the time it reaches shore.
Instead, sirens went off at 0600 and at 0700, signaling residents to turn on their televisions or radios to keep abreast of the situation. People in lower lying regions have been instructed to move to higher ground, while fire trucks are roaming these neighborhoods to ensure everyone is aware of the possible danger approaching the islands.
Before 0600, I didn't hear a peep outside. It was quiet and you could tell people were still sleeping, unaware of the events that began to brew since last night. As soon as the sirens went off at 0600, however, I immediately noticed a commotion outside. I can still hear people getting into their cars, driving away, as they quickly head towards super markets and gasoline stations to prepare. Others return with bags of groceries, relieved to finally get through the long lines.
As the governer declares a state of emergency, we are instructed to stay off the roads, to conserve water, and to be prepared for a loss of electricity. The good news, however, is that the expected wave may only be 6 to 7 feet, which may not cause much damage, if any at all. Although everyone must still be prepared (just in case) because the dynamics of a wave are complex.
In times like these, I'm glad I live somewhere in the middle of the island. And I'm glad I also have enough food and water because I know how painful it is to wait in those long lines! I only hope that the tsunami warning pans out to be a small wave that fizzles by the time it reaches shore.
My heart goes out to the people in Chile though. I cannot imagine being put through such devastation and they will definitely need as much help as they can receive.