Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami in Hawaii

Only yesterday, I was down by the harbor taking photos of the calm water that reflected a gorgeous morning sky...

Last night around ten o'clock, I heard about the tsunami warning in Hawaii. A huge 8.9 earthquake that occurred near Japan had sent out pulses of energy that would reach the islands around 3 in the morning. These tsunamis are hard to spot in the ocean until they reach the shores that lie in their path. Although technology is highly advanced and we were able to predict the tsunami, it is impossible to predict the exact height of the surge or the damage that it might cause. We knew that the energy waves were travelling at 500 miles an hour across the Pacific Ocean, quickly passing the thousands of miles between Japan and Hawaii. Only time would tell what would happen early this morning.

People bombarded the gas stations and stocked up on water and supplies. Some along the shore were evacuated to higher ground. After we studied the map to discover that we were outside the flood zone and didn't have to evacuate like some of the beach-front resorts did, I turned out the light at 1:30 when I heard that Midway (on the outermost regions of the Hawaiian Islands) had only seen a surge of a few feet. This morning I woke up dry, safe, and warm. The tsunami has done minimal damage to Hawaii, and I feel very thankful to God for His protection even here, on a vulnerable spot in the middle of an ever-reaching ocean.

Later this moring, we drove down to the harbor, where it was easy to see the irregularities in the ocean waves. The tsunami wasn't a Day-After-Tomorrow tidal wave. Instead the tsunami caused irregular surges, flooded waterways, and unpredictable currents - hidden dangers. We watched as the water flowed into the harbor raising the water level a couple of feet before seeping back out to sea. Watch the small pier in the photos below to see the changes in the water. When we first arrived, the water was up level with the top of the pier.

Small boats that I had seen only yesterday bobbing peacefully in the water, are now capsized.

Out beyond the barrier, I spotted a few spinner dolphins jumping out of the water as if nothing was at all wrong. Inside the harbor were a couple turtles attempting to swim as the strong currents pulled them in and out with the surge.

I feel incredibly blessed to be so unharmed, especially as I hear about the massive destruction in Japan. My heart goes out to the people there. God in His providence is watching out for us, and I know I am undeserving in His protection. With hundreds dead and thousands missing, this is one of the worst earthquakes Japan has ever had. I feel rather silly seeing the small surges in our waters here as the day continues sunny and bright, when I know that on the other side of this ocean lies a people suffering. Feeling rather helpless, I know that God is in control. Keep praying for the people in Japan!


  1. Thanks for the pictures and the tsunami report, we've been wondering about how our favorite place in the world has fared. SO glad you all are OK and that the damage looks to be minimal. We were wondering how Polihale is. Did the surge get high enough to do damage to the road? I guess we can also find out when we get there next month. -the Efflandts

  2. Great pictures Rose. You are blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

  3. I was praying for you guys. So glad you're safe! I can't even imagine the heartache that resides in Japan, now. And I sit comfortably in this office chair... In the midst of watching the wreck and sadness in the video footage, I had to remind myself of God's sovereignty. His hand was throughout all of that, and it still is. I just pray He sends comfort and peace, now... and that He turns the hurting to Him.

  4. We're thankful to be OK too. I'm not really sure how Polihale fared - haven't heard any reports.

    @okiewife I am very blessed :)

    @Rachel Thank you for your prayers! You've pretty much summed up my feelings for Japan as well. God is in control, and I pray that He would be with the people there.

  5. Rose,

    What a bitter sweet situation this is.

    I have family that lives in Ewa Beach and of course I was worried when I first heard of the potential of a serious tsunami. The sweet side, I'm so grateful to hear there was no significant damage or lives lost in Hawai'i.

    However, there is the bitter side being in Japan. My heart hurts for the people there.

    You are right, the Lord is in control. :)

  6. I wanted to wish you a "happy birthday!" before it was too late... So. Happy birthday! I hope your day was spectacular. =)

  7. @Alan it is a bittersweet situation. I am thankful for our safety, but sad for Japan. It's going to be a long hard struggle for them.

    @Rachel thank you! It was great :)


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