Saturday, March 12, 2011
Easy Little Cards and My Tsunami Story *Update*
My short tsunami story I want to share with you-.
Some of you may know from SugarGem's Facebook page that I am in Hawaii. We have been here for about 2 weeks. We went into Tsunami watch on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 8:30pm Hawaii time after Japan's 8.9 magnitude earthquake. Something you might not know about me is that my fiancee owns a charter boat here in the Islands and we come here a few times a year. When the Islands go into Tsunami warning the Captains are required to take the boats out of the harbor into open ocean to save the boats and harbor from damage. At 9:30 the Islands went into WARNING Stage. We knew from the internet that Hawaii was going to sound the tsunami sirens within 10 min. Which is full blown warning and evacuation stage. We had just moved out of a home up on the mountain to a condo right on the water. It was good in some ways because we were still packed so all we had to do was throw our bags in the car and head over to the harbor. Luckily we did this all before the sirens went off so there wasn't any traffic yet. Right before we got to the boat the tsunami sirens went off. The whole town had to evacuate up the mountain. While everyone was heading up the mountain there we were down on the water heading out.
We loaded everything up and headed out to sea. Let me just say it was bit scary. We didn't know what to expect at all. We didn't know if we were going to feel the waves. We were out in the ocean with hundreds of other boats in darkness. We stayed up all night long in suspense looking out for large waves and other boats that were out there without their running lights on. We did feel the tsunami waves. They weren't big waves out in the ocean, but more like really really fast current running under the boat. You could feel the boat start to spin. My fiancee had throttle all the way up to ride it out. After the first couple surges the water got extremely choppy. All the rhythm of the sea was gone and turned into large sloppy waves coming from every direction. On top of all this we learned that now we had to be aware of rogue waves from the tsunami waves bouncing off the islands and colliding. It was a very very long, dark and stressful night.
Once day broke we were the first to try and enter the harbor, but quickly found that the harbor was completely flooded up over the seawalls and was not accessible. We, along with over 300 hundred boats, trolled outside the harbor for hours waiting for the water to recede. Along with the harbor being flooded the water was surging in and out of the harbor like a river for hours and hours. None of us had seen anything like this before. Many boats tried entering the harbor after us to turn out and high tail it back out of the harbor before the water sucked them up onto the rocks. At 9:00am the United States Coast Guard closed all harbors and water ways in the Hawaiian Islands. Not knowing anything was probably the hardest part after the actual tsunami. No one was allowed back in town to asses the damage so we had no idea what had happened on shore. The harbor officials left all of us to fend for ourselves and did not help anyone. They were nowhere to be contacted to fill us in on what was happening. We were completely in the blind.
1:00pm rolled around and we'd had enough of the not knowing what was going on in the harbor. We decided to give it a second chance at entering the harbor........We MADE IT!
There were multiple boats that sank that never got out of the harbor before the tsunami. Countless boats damaged. All the pipes were broken in the harbor. The whole town of Kona is still shut down 36hours after. The whole seawall in downtown Kona was wiped out. All stores, restaurants and shops in downtown are still shut down. Multiple hotels are still closed. The news is not reporting any of the damage here. I'm asking you to get the word out and ask for thoughts and prayers for the people here and their families dealing with the damage. As well as everyone else that is dealing with loss and damage from the earthquake and the tsunami.
Update* March 13. Yesterday we drove around to the harbors and town. The town is starting to open up. Some stores were damaged much more then others. Some are completely ruined and some are just fine. My favorite area of the whole island is called Keauhou. We have a friend that owns some property down that way and the whole harbor is completly ruined. My favorite dive shop is GONE. The Keauhou Yacht Club is GONE! We had just been there earlier that day with our friends showing them around because it was so cute there! It seems that all the harbors were hit the worst. Almost like the waves escalated inside the harbors. It's so sad. I hope that they are able to rebuild because it's the best place to go hands down. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers!
If I can inspire just one person today I have done my job!
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