The Deadly Rising Tide
Note: I’ve been receiving regular updates on the tsunami that’s just now hitting Hawaii from Anchor Rising reader Ken Williamson. These are they, and I’ll update this post as they come in.
Received 11:58 a.m.
27 Feb. 2010 at 6 AM the emergency sirens sounded.
Last night about 8 PM last night a 8.8 magnitude earth quake hit Chile and created a 3 ft tsunami wave.
News media made everyone aware before we turned in for the night there might be a tsunami generated.
This is about the same place in 1960 the same thing happened and a tsunami wave was created that hit Hilo, HI on the Big Island killing 61 people.
Hawaii is made up of about 120 islands stretching about 1,600 miles long. The Big Island of Hawaii is the southernmost point of the United States.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has indicated a tsunami wave will hit the islands of Hawaii approximately 11 AM today.
The first to be hit will be Hilo, Hawaii on the Big Island south eastern side of the island.
The tsunami wave is predicted to be 3 to 5 or 6 ft. Which means first the water at the beach recedes and then the water tries to fill back to the beach with the tsunami wave riding on top of the water as it fills back in to the beach. So even though the wave sounds small it becomes a very destructive event!
About 11:30 the tsunami wave is expected to hit the Island of Oahu which I reside on 300 miles north of Hilo, HI
One thing to note, a tsunami wave will wrap around the island so all sides of the island are vulnerable!
I live on the west side of Oahu at the 200 ft above sea level. I am not in a tsunami flood zone.
Emergency Management in Hawaii has done a wonderful job of preparing people and providing information. The reason for sounding the sirens at 6 AM was to get anyone who needs to get out of tsunami flood zones can evacuate. Every telephone book in Hawaii has all the EMA instructions, tsunami flood zone maps, evacuation locations and alternate facilities locations printed in them. All public buses are instructed to stop and pick up people no charge and move them to higher ground.
Everything is pretty much under control here in Hawaii.
Received 1:11 p.m.
Tahiti just go hit by a 6 ft tsunami wave that was generated near Chile by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake.
The tsunami is now expected to hit Hilo, HI at about 11:05 AM HST (5 hrs behind from EST). Hilo Intl airport has been closed. All hotels have been evacuated in Hilo.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also is also now advising the tsunami wave hitting Hilo, HI will be approximately 8 to 12 ft.
To put this in perspective, the tsunami wave that hit and devastated Samoa and American Samoa was 10 ft.
Governor Linda Lingle has ordered all roads block off (no access) to all tsunami flood zones at 10 AM. All people living in the flood zones are to be evacuated to shelters.
The tsunami wave hitting my island of Oahu is expected to be 6 ft at about 11:37 AM HST.
Keeping in mind, this is not just one wave but a series of long waves building on top on each other which can spread inland up to a mile depending on the terrain.
Again, my house is 1 1/2 miles from the beach and 200 ft above sea level in between two 18-hole championship golf courses not in any designated tsunami flood zone.
Received 3:37 p.m.
It is 10:10 HST and all access to tsunami flood zone have been blocked off by police and fire departments. There is no access to the shore line. The roads along the shoreline are empty
Police helicopters are flying over beach and surfing areas warning any nonbelievers to evacuate. All high rise building located in tsunami flood zones are following 3rd floor rule which is no one allowed below the 4th floor (1st, 2nd and 3rd floors must evacuate).
Public buses are traveling through the flood zones stopping for any stragglers’ at no charge and taking them to shelters.
I must use Farrington Highway to get to/from my house and into Honolulu proper. Farrington Highway is in the tsunami flood zone. They highway is blocked off. I’ve also been advised the tsunami might flood the highway and cut off access in and out of the Waianae coast. There is only one way in and one way out!
This being my first ever tsunami I am surprised to find out the tsunami event is not slam-bang and it’s over! It is the whole ocean rising up long wave after long wave also picking up boulders undersea and carrying them on to shore. A tsunami event lasts up to 10-12 hours! So this is going to last until midnight tonight on the Island of Oahu! That is a lot of water!!!
The sirens are sounding will sound 1 more time at 11AM. That will be the last warning also notice for police and fire to move to higher ground.
Received 4:41 p.m.
11:34 AM The water is receding in Hilo, HI bay reef and rocks are being exposed and helicopters are reporting they can see a surge in the water.
The tsunami is finally beginning to hit Hawaii. A little late (30 min).
Received 6:06 p.m.
This is totally unbelievable!
Watching this tsunami unfold hitting Hawaii is awesome!
Local TV station has cameras setup in Hilo Bay, HI, Oahu, Waikiki Beach and Maui Kahului harbor.
Hilo. HI Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii it’s like someone pulling the plug on the ocean. Suddenly the water drains away at such a speed that as rocks are exposed rapids form from the rushing water We’re talking about the whole ocean here!
Then it slows stops and then starts to build filling back in causing rapids flowing in reverse but each cycle the water has been getting higher!
The bridge in the TV camera is 10 ft above the water and the rise is almost beginning to touch the bridge which means the whole bay is rising and falling almost 10 ft!
The TV camera on Diamond Head Road on Oahu looking down where the surfers normally surf off Diamond Head the ocean is draining away exposing coral and rocks. Waikiki Beach is draining away exposing reef and rocks. The Ala Wai canal is draining and filling almost to spill over into the streets.
On Maui Kahului TV cameras show the harbor is draining trapping and stranding fish and then refilling. The humpback whales that normally visit Hawaii every year are acting strange according to TV reports.
Hawaii is now fully engulfed into this tsunami event. The ebb and surge has been building with each cycle. The cycles are very long about 20min to 35 min
How long and how high will the waves go??
Gamebookers that were placing bets on the time this tsunami would last would make this unfolding event more fascinating. Although, the public outcry for what could be seen as placing morbid bets could be morally crippling for them. Perhaps, instead, they should consider placing bets on when and where the next tsunami would be.
Received at 7:08 p.m.
01:43 PM 27 Feb 2010 we just got the official all clear from the NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. A full all clear by each Hawaii County is to be issued individually.
There were recorded 4 each tsunami waves that hit Hawaii. There are a number of significant surges recorded from helicopters.
So far there has been no recorded damage in the Hawaiian Islands or loss of life due to this tsunami event. Vigilance is still recommended to any rouge wave.
As a resident who moved from RI to HI and just experienced my first ever tsunami event I can’t believe the amount of professionalism exhibited by the State of Hawaii, City and County of Honolulu, Civil Defense, Emergency Manage, local police, local fire, TV stations and NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The amount of information provided was calming and informative.
The fact that all emergency information and instructions are printed in the local telephone books are very helpful. You can open the book and understand what you need to do. The fact the sirens were sounded at 6 AM giving everyone time for preparation and you were given a time line when roads in the flood zones would be closed was very helpful. I am amazed how calm and polite everyone was even going out of their way to help each other. After all, we all live on an island and depend on each other for our very existence.
Although it is reported more tsunami waves of lesser magnitude will continue to hit Hawaii over the next week, we are considered at this time.
Thanks for your concern!
Received Sunday, 3:30 p.m.
Hilo, HI is considered to be the tsunami capitol of the United States. The city has been flattened twice by tsunamis 1946 with loss of 96 people in Hilo and 1960 with 61 people lost. This is why people take tsunamis seriously here.
If you want to get a real feel for what happened in Hawaii with the tsunami yesterday the local newspapers today are chock full of stories, photographs and web videos taken as things unfolded around the different islands. The Honolulu Advertiser has the most streaming videos and photographs posted.
Honolulu Star Bulletin.