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John Fischer

What a Weekend - Hurricane, Earthquake and Tsunami

By October 29, 2012

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What a weekend. Here on the east coast my wife and I spent all day Saturday doing all of those things that we being told to do to prepare for hurricane Sandy. Those include buying water, non-perishable foods, lanterns and batteries and a portable radio. Then we had to come home and bring anything inside that could possibly blow around in winds that are expected to gust up to 65 mph.

Needless to say, by Saturday night we were exhausted and we both headed to bed early. I woke up at 5:00 a.m., turned on my iPad and learned of the large 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of western Canada and the subsequent tsunami warning in Hawaii. I read of folks moving their families to higher ground, boats heading our to sea, and island visitors evacuating vertically in most hotels, i.e. above the 4th floor. Fortunately, most hotel managers have this down to an art and from what I've heard everything went smoothly.

There was apparently some inconsistencies in when certain tsunami sirens actually sounded, especially on the island of Hawaii in the Pahoa area. If for nothing else, this alarm showed that work needs to be done for the next time.

While damage from this tsunami was minimal, it is important that all island visitors understand that when tsunami sirens are sounded anytime other than in a scheduled test, there are specific actions that must be taken immediately for the protection of the lives of everyone in your party. The one thing you don't want to do is head towards the beach with your camera in tow.

A good place to start to learn more about tsunamis and what you need to do if you're in Hawaii when a warning is sounded is our section on Tsunamis in Hawaii and specifically the feature FAQ's regarding Tsunamis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Tsunami Research.

We're told that we will likely lose power for several days, so you might not hear more from me for a while. My thoughts for all of the rest of you who are in the Northeast and threatened by this historic storm.

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