Tsunami Day!!!

Hurray for Saturdays!! I was so excited about this day, and woke up early, like at 5:30, thinking about all the things we would do. Doug didn't have any work to do and could really spend some time doing some fun stuff with us. After I get it all organized in my head, I roll over to look at my phone, to see what time it is. There are TWO BILLION text messages!! ACK!! And they all said something to the effect of "I hope you guys are ok!!" "We're thinking about you!!"......so, because I can't think in the dark, I turn on the lamp. I scroll through all the messages, and finally figure out that we're in some kind of danger. I wake everyone up, and the speaker I hadn't noticed before crackles and comes to life!! The announcer says there is a tsunami warning, get on higher ground or above the fourth floor, get enough food/water/supplies for 5-7 days, go, go, go! She also gave times for things, but I don't think I fully understood everything just then.

This is the speaker. Updates came over this every hour or less, with instructions, etc.

We turned on the tv for more information as we dressed the kids, and gathered our bags. We discussed our game plan while we got ready. So, at 7am on Saturday, we were heading out the door to find supplies. I had NOTHING in the room, because I had planned to buy groceries that day. We brought both ergos, and the stroller and set out. As we headed toward the grocery store, we noticed all the convenience stores by our hotel were closed or closing. We passed a convenience store a half-mile away that had costumers lined up all the way through the whole store, and another that had them out the door, both with super long lines of cars refueling.

We plodded on, passing the fire station we had visited the first day. We met a couple with several Don Quijote bags and I asked them what it was like at the store and they said it was crowded and they were out of bottled water. They suggested we might be better off going up the road a bit to Wal-Mart. We continued on, and went ahead to Don Quijote. It WAS crowded and we waited in line that was the length of the whole store for maybe an hour. I took William around in the ergo, checking out stuff, as he doesn't wait patiently. Aldous was with Doug in the other ergo, and we used our stroller as a shopping cart. We got bread, ravioli, tuna, fruit, candy, a couple small waters (hidden....ha ha!!) soda, and a jug of some juice we figured would be better than nothing in an emergency. Doug also picked out some croissants and some muffins. (giggle).

While we were waiting to pay, they announced that the store would be closing at 9am, because everyone had to be evacuated by 10am. By the time we got out, it was 8:30. I stopped at a coffee stand (that also had all kinds of bubble tea) and got a big coffee, and we gave the kids a bit to eat. None of us had eaten yet in our haste to get to the store. Did I mention the store was like 1.1 miles away? Anyhow, EVERYTHING was closed by the time we got back to the hotel, and the hotel management had erected a huge white board with all tsunami news on it.

We went upstairs, unpacked our stuff, filled everything we could with water, and turned the refrigerator to the coldest setting, per emergency instructions. The local news was actually pretty informative and had a lot of weather cameras around to keep people updated. This camera was on Hilo.

Some of our water stash. They said to do fill everything with water because at some point it was likely that there wouldn't be any, or they would turn it off.

Ravioli and bananas!! and peanut butter!!

More water and our meager "first aid kit" which was actually only band-aids.

They made a few more announcements, just updates about the time, and pretty soon the police were in the streets. I think the streets were totally closed by 10, and the police were there with loudspeakers getting everyone inside.

From our balcony, we could see all of the ships heading out. At 6am all ships were ordered out of harbor and to the open water.

After the evacuation, everyone was hanging out on their balconies. A guy below and to the left was playing his guitar.

Periodically, throughout the morning, all of the hotels had tons of people just hanging out.

By the time the tsunami reached Hilo, it was evident that main surge wasn't as large as first anticipated, and we just waited in our room for news for Oahu. The waves there ended up being 1-2ft, and didn't do much more than churn up a bunch of dirt, and create some rough waters.
By 1 or so, the warning was lifted. Apparently, the scientists were cautious because the first tsunami surge isn't necessarily the largest AND the 24 or so Chilean earthquake aftershocks that were more than 5 on the Richter scale had them concerned that it may not be safe. Thankfully, nothing more happened and we all headed out to a party-like atmosphere where everyone was enjoying being outdoors again.

We walked to a playground and let the boys run!! They so needed it after being cooped up in the room all morning!


Unfortunately, the tsunami stirred up this whole storm system that left us with bad weather the rest of our stay: cool air, high winds, and rain.

Waikiki Beach, on our way back from the park.

And a beautiful sunset. The best thing about our room was this view!!

News story about that day

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