Clockwise: Boat owners sailing to a safer place a mile out to sea; the bare reef; Ala Wai canal flowing the wrong way; cops telling people to evacuate; graphic from NYTimes.com.
There was a massive earthquake in Chile on the night of Friday, February 26. It triggered a small tsunami that hit Hawaii at around 11am the next day. The Pacific Tsunami Center issued a state-wide alert on Friday night and by Saturday morning, all people in low lying coastal regions were advised to evacuate to higher ground. For those in high rises (like me), the third floor and up was considered safe.
This was the first time I’d ever been in involved in a city or statewide evacuation. I wasn’t worried but the experience was reality check. The tsunami did hit the islands but since it was small there was no visible wave. What you could see though, was the tide sucking out and flowing in every 10 minutes or so.
It’s hard to imagine a wave traveling thousands of miles from Chile to Hawaii (and then to Japan) but it happened. And I saw it’s effect on the tide with my own eyes from my lanai. Mother nature never ceases to humble.