Monday, March 1, 2010

Tsunami-Not. Or: Mother Nature and Pele have a discussion.

This past Friday night, Chile was rocked with a gimoungous earthquake that devastated the country.  That earthquake sparked a Tsunami warning for the Hawaiian Islands, West Coast of the Continental United States, and Japan.  I'm missing a country in here somewhere that was threatened.  Please forgive me, I was preoccupied with the fact that:

1.  I live in Hawaii
2.  People were freaking out, and by 4:30am my parents were already packing their bags to evacuate because they live in an evacuation zone.   

6am:  I wake up to the sound of the sirens.  Wonder why the sirens are going off, since it's only Saturday, and the siren test day is Monday.  Reality:  Siren sounding was completely lost on me as I figured they had the wrong day and went back to sleep.  

8am:  My house was overrun by parents and 2 dogs while my cat and husband continue to sleep.  (Eff them!  I was woken up at 7am!) 

11am:  My grandmother and brother enter the picture, and my normally calm house was a mess of noise.

12pm:  We watch one little camera pointed at one portion of the Big Island.  This was it!  This was the big one!  OMG this is going to be crazy!

CNN reports:  Tsunami Surges Into Hawaii!  Tsunami Hits the Hawaiian Island Chain  AHHHH!!!!
12pm continued:  We were glued to the TV, watching the video of the rocks disappear and reappear.  This was, according to the extremely tired news reporters (who had long ceased to make sense since they had been on air since 11pm the night before:  see example of female news caster saying, 'The earthquake will hit Oahu at 11am!"), a Tsunami in progress.
"OMG look at the rocks!  They weren't there 2 min ago!"
"Wow!  They're gone again!"
"Oh, the ebb of the ocean is getting stronger!"
And then...nothing.  Seven hours of watch the tide roll in and out.  To watch the water go up, then down.  Then up.  Then down.  Oh, there's the beach!  Oh, the beach is gone!  Oh, it's back!  Oh, it's gone again!
(See picture.  True picture of what we spent 2 hours staring at.  See the white water?  That was the most exciting part of what happened.  Sometimes it was going out to sea.  Sometimes it was going back in.  Twas exciting.)

1pm:  Everyone is asleep where they sit.  Grandmother has nodded off into her hat, with her feet up on her walker.  Dad is snoring on sofa.  Mom is passed out as well.  Husband and I are watching Iron Chef America while dogs snore at our feet.  It was, truly, a very, very anti-climactic morning.

To be honest, we're very lucky and glad that nothing major happened.  But to be even more brutally honest, my friend slept through the entire thing and didn't realize there was even a Tsunami alert until he woke up and it was all over.  I sort of wish I were him, and that my Saturday wasn't shot to hell.

Japan, noted the news, was in the process of evacuating its people.  I wanted to shout "Hey Japan!  Chill the fuck out!  Ain't nothing happened over here, ain't nothing going to happen over there!"
I guess maybe they heard my unspoken shout, because they canceled their Tsunami warning shortly thereafter.  And that, dear folks, was the Tsunami Scare of February 2010.

**as much as I appear to have ridiculed Mother Nature just now, please know I have the greatest respect for her and her power, and am very glad she decided to spare our islands.  It's kind of like Pele.  You might go, "Hey Pele!  Wassup!  How's them Lava flowing!" but deep down inside, you really respect the goddess as you should.  I mean, I don't want my house and my family burnt up by lava.  (See picture on right.  Pele is fucking scary)  So while I might joke that Mother Nature and Pele got together and had a discussion and decided that water wasn't going to happen this time around, I know that both women goddesses can be moody, and their good mood might not last next time.  It's all about the respect.  Respect them gods and goddesses, and peace out.  

**And take a moment of silence for Chile.  While we on this little island chain may have been spared, it's sobering to note that there was an entire country that was impacted horribly, and a great many people perished.  Pushing good luck their way--------->

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