For those of you who are curious…one of the first things I do each morning is to take a quick peek at my email and the news online. I’m hoping for disaster to strike. Admit it, most of us are….modern life in the United States is not only unfulfilling, it is deadly…have a look at obesity rates, alcoholism rates, drug rates, and anything else that is blatantly self destructive and you will see the truth…We are all hoping that something interesting happens but that it isn’t so interesting that our loved ones suffer or die. So in any event, I was pleasantly surprised to find an email from my mom that said a tsunami was coming….Mink and I live close enough to the beach that it would be very interesting…I was disappointed to go to a news site and see that they had advised that there was no need to worry. Have you ever listened to the Beatles song Penny Lane? I am pretty sure that it comes to explain our world better and better every day…what it needs at the end though is an explosion….
Officials at the Pacific
Tsunami Warning Center canceled a tsunami watch for Hawaii shortly after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, but shores did see height changes starting at 7 a.m.
The tsunami watch was issued after Japan’s Meteorological Agency said a magnitude 8.1 quake struck 245 miles east of the island Etorofu that is claimed by both Japan and Russia. The
U.S. Geological Survey estimated the magnitude at 7.8.
Officials warned people to avoid the water in the time between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Police and firefighters walked the shore in Waikiki telling people the stay clear of the water. The Honolulu Police Department’s two helicopters and and aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol flew over several beaches and broadcasted warnings.
Hawaii adjutant Gen. Robert Lee briefed reporters early on Wednesday morning after the tsunami watch for Hawaii was canceled.
He had a caution for boaters, swimmers and surfers.
“Anyone having recreation on the ocean to be extremely careful between the time of 7:20 a.m. and about 9 a.m. for some unusual sea level changes and some possible strong currents,” Lee said.
On Oahu, police tried to keep people away from the water, often without success at Diamond Head.
Even though officers remained at one trail to advise beachgoers, dozens of surfers made it up and down other trails and still rode the waves.
At Kewalo Basin, harbor police were keeping people out of the water until well after 9 a.m.
Even after letting people back in, the police kept a wary eye on the ocean for surges.
Small increase in wave heights were seen in Waikiki. Lifeguards said they measured one change in height up to 18 inches at the beach near where Kapahulu Avenue intersects Kalakaua Avenue.
Officials said Haleiwa saw a drop of 5 feet of shore waters several times and Kahana Bay had a 2-foot drop.
State officials closed Hawaii harbors to incoming traffic on Wednesday in case of wave surges. The harbors were closed from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
It temporarily delayed two Norwegian cruise ships from entering Kahului Harbor on Maui and Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai, where water levels rose above the pier and spilled into the parking lot.
A normally busy Honolulu Harbor was visibly inactive for a portion of the morning. Tugboats sat dormant. Outside Honolulu Harbor two barges had to wait for clearance to enter.
A surge reported to be about 5 feet was not really that visible although if it was felt it may have caused problems during the docking process.
“It’s how quickly the surge comes in and that would be a problem, but a 5-feet rise in the tide is not unusual for our harbors. It can go up 4 feet very easy on just a regular day,” state Department of Transportation director Rodney Haraga said.
By 11 a.m. things starting getting back to normal at harbors across the state.