Mar 21, 2011

Tsunami

This past Thursday was one we won't forget here in Hawaii. I have finally gotten around to writing about our experience with the tsunami.

Night of
We had a birthday party down in Waikiki. Before leaving, i got a call from my concerned brother (I knew he was concerned because he never calls me) and asked if we saw the tsunami warning for Hawaii because of an earth quake that just happened in japan. We turned on the news are there was nothing.

We got down to Waikiki and weren't even at the restuarant for more than a minute when we were turning around leaving. A friend of ours band was performing at the resturaunt that night and had made an announcement to everyone that the band would not be performing anymore because of the tsunami warning that had just gone into effect.

As you looked around the resturaunt, all the TVs had the breaking news of a tsunami heading towards the Hawaiian islands and the dramatic footage of the tsunami hitting japan.

I learned the difference between a tsunami watch, meaning there is a chance a tsunami could come and tsunami warnings, meaning yes there is a tsunami coming. It was officially a tsunami warning for Hawaii.

As we were driving, a very loud siren started going off all over the island.

Evacuation.

We learn that we are evacuating, any homes along the coast are ordered to move to higher grounds. We got home and you could hear officers on their megaphone telling everyone to evacuate their homes. We go inside and jeri is helping get things ready for Rita. Our relief society president, Marilyn, showed up who lives on the military base. She was coming to pick us up and so we would have a place to stay that night. What a relief.

Ryan and I packed our bags in about 5 minutes. The nice thing is that we didn't have much we wanted to take. It is a weird feeling thinking there could be a chance that everything we leave behind would be gone. We grabbed our bags and headed to the military base.

The night was really long. We all stayed up watching the news. The news kept showing video feed of downtown Waikiki area. You would see the water receed really far back and then come back in, receed really far back and then come back in again.

Needless to say, Hawaii did not have much damage in comparison to Japan. We were able to come home the following morning as they ended the evacuation at 730am. We looked in our backyard and saw sticks and junk that had been washed up in our yard. After watching all the footage the night before of Japan, we still can't even fathom what they are going through. We had a measley tiny glimpse of what happened there because at the end of the day, we were able to go back to our home and sleep in our beds.

If there is anything i learned, it's normal to have fear when something like a natural disaster comes along, but we should have a peace knowing that we are prepared physically and spiritually. My heart and prayers go out to those in japan and any other place where lives were taken because of the tsunami.