Saturday, 27 February 2010

We dodged a bullet today

I'm back home after today's tsunami scare. Fortunately the waves weren't as large as feared although there were surges in Hilo Bay as shown in the time lapse video below. Due to Hilo Bay's size and shape, a seiche will often occur when a tsunami arrives, which is the posh word for water sloshing back and forward in the bay just like water in a bathtub. It can increase the size of the waves as it has done in past tsunamis with tragic results.

Well, I'm very relieved the waves were relatively small and my home is still here! To be honest it would have to be a massive tsunami to put my home in danger but you can't take chances so was happy to evacuate this morning. I would also like to say thank you to Frossie and Tim for their hospitality today in letting me (and the old girls) stay during the warning period and for a lovely lunch! I also had an offer of help from Jean for which I'm very grateful.

What an interesting and extraordinary day, and I won't forget the sounds of the civil defense sirens for a while - the first time I've heard them go off in anger rather than just a drill. Also, please don't forget those affected in Chile by the massive earthquake that started all this.


Hilary said...

Glad to know you're ok. :)

Beep said...

So glad that you are ok and that the news from Hawaii is good. And I was keeping watch on tv so I saw that "posh word" happen; glad to know what it is called, now :) Also happy you and the cats have such good friends as Frossie. What Chile has gone through is terrible and I hope that all the fires are soon under control. I think it is so kind of you to think of them after the day you had.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I'm so happy you're all right - that everyone's all right. That video was interesting! Just as interesting is this energy map of the tsunami:

Tom said...


Zuzana said...

Glad you are safe. The clip still shows what can happen, if the water level was much lager.
Hope you cans till have a nice Sunday,

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are safe. Yes, that was a huge sigh of relief. I was able to listen to the live KAPA feed via their iPhone app.

punagreek said...

Open a can of baked beans for some Englishmen and they call it a nice lunch... easy to please, you lot are.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Tom, thought about you and others affected by this. Oh and who could not dwell on the Chile quake at 8.8. I went through the 2002 California quake and it was 6.9. I felt like life was ending for me and my house was trashed (old house high on a hill), but we made it without human injury, those in Paso Robles were not so lucky. We had a few fatalities.

I remember my Uncle Eric describing the warning sirens and how he watched the sea suck out of the bay in Hawaii.

Shudder. Good luck!

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Tom said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments and thoughts, very much appreciated. The only thing the tsunami seems to have brought me is a stinking cold!

Punagreek - I was, of course, referring to the company! ;)

Sharon - so sorry you lost a house to an earthquake. We have a few here as you know and when one hits there's always that horrible feeling it's going to get worse, but so far we've been luck on this side of the island.

I still can't get the sound of the warning sirens out of my head, I guess it's because when they sounded we all knew the evacuation was for real.

OF course, being the first day of the month, they had the usual monthly drill today and sounded the sirens again. I think the system got a pretty thorough testing a couple of days ago!


Beep said...

Hi Sharon,

I live on the CA central coast and I remember an earthquake in which 2 people in Paso were killed; I thought that one was near the end of 2003 but I could be wrong.

I am so sorry you lost your home. I was lucky to be in a cramped apartment in Santa Barbara then and nothing happened, even to all of our precariously placed possessions. I was in the one way back in 1978 though. My family had visitors then who never returned! Their budding love of California was crushed in the quake.