There went what wave?

SUBHEAD: Chilean Tsunami - It was not a disaster in Hawaii, but it did stir Hilo Bay up. Image above: People gather on hillside in Kalaheo, Kauai to watch south shore during tsunami. Photo by Juan Wilson. Note, Poipu-Waiohai shore area to left of lighting standard in picture. By Juan Wilson on 1 March 2010 - I was woken at three in the morning on Saturday, the day that the tsunami from Chili was to arrive on Hawaii. What woke me was my iPod receiving an email from a automatic notice that this website had gotten a comment. I reached over and snapped the iPod on and found that Brad Parsons, a co-editor had left an article I posted as "Here Comes the Wave" about a surfing video titled 'Stuck in a Tsunami". Brad wrote:
Juan, here comes the wave indeed:
That got my attention. The wave was traveling at jet speed but had a long way to travel, so I had a few hours to do a lot of prep. We live at the bottom of a valley near the ocean with 60 stone wall on either side. No place to be if the ocean wants to be there too. We called a friend in Kalaheo. Let the chickens out. Packed the cat in the car and water, food, tools etc in the truck. We were gone by nine. When it was close to 11:00am we went up by the golf course into some new development of houses. From there we knew there would be a good view of the southside of Kauai if something dramatic was going to happen. There were a few empty lots in the neighborhood (at $395,000 for a 1/4 acre no wonder). Other people had the same idea. There was kind of a street party going on. People stood around cars with radios going, or listened to cellphones. It was a clear bright day. The ocean was as flat as glass. Many of the tour boats from the Kukuiolo Harbor and Port Allen were out about a mile, the big catamarans with masts. It looked chereful and festive, but in fact out in the ocean was the safest place they could be if there was to be a disaster. Then we heard reports of the first wave coming into Hilo. Nothing too big. Then it was on Oahu. Then it was on Kauai, but we could hardly tell a mile inland and 600 feet above the water. The second wave was approaching Hilo and reports were it was bigger than the first. A friend, Richard, had binoculars, and it when the second wave came it did seem that something strange was happening to the wave and currents breaking around the points near Piopu and The Waiohai area (see photo above). But that was about it. I thiunk there was an anticlimax for many out on the road waiting for an apocalypse or an asteroid. Remember the people standing around on a hill in "Deep Imapact". You remember "When oceans rise, cities fall and hope survives!" That's the one where after a asteroid hits the earth, Elijah Wood races up a mountain just high enough to escape the mile high tsunami wave chasing everybody on earth. Well, I felt like one of those geeks on the hill in the movie waiting for the wave. But not much happened. Thank goodness. I know to those in Chili this disaster was real and ongoing. But here (this time) on Kauai the impact of the road and houses on that hillside where we stood on was more damaging to the island than the tsunami. When the all clear came about 2:00pm we headed of to a luau down at the beach in Hanapepe. Our neighbors the Kali's were remembering the passing of Sue, the grandmother, mother and wife and friend to many from the valley. They had set up camp with tents, tables, cooking rigs, and coolers the night before and would not be deterred by the something that happened 7,000 miles away in Chili. And they weren't. Video above: Video of tsunami wave surge in Hilo Bay, home of the Pacific Tsunami Wave Museum. From ( One comment on YouTube said of this 6 minute video:
"Super-cool footage. I don't care if you wanted to make yourself a candidate for a Darwin Award, it was really impressive to see that surge from your location. Even though it was small, it was a tsunami, and it arrived pretty much when predicted. Hilo Bay Front lives on to see another day!"

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