Today has been a long and interesting day for the residents of Maui. People were up well before first light as news spread rapidly of the imminent threat of a tsunami headed towards our shores. I made quick phone calls to friends and family around the island to exchange news and notes about the tsunamis arrival time and evacuation plans. I was on the phone letting my parents know we were going to be evacuating as the first tsunami warning siren cut through the cool morning air. Living just one house back from the ocean, I knew that the Tsunami warning was nothing to take lightly.
Island civil defense authorities did a good job of alerting residents and visitors. From all that I observed, the aloha spirit shined through among residents as they looked out for neighbors and offered shelter to those who may have been in harm’s way. Residents took necessary precautions and did so in a civil and orderly manner.
As the predicted time of the tsunami arrival drew closer, I met up with Billy and headed up into the cane fields across from our neighborhood. We pulled over among a group of neighbors well above any potential area of inundation. Neighbors milled around their cars checking phones and listening to radios for information. Before long, it turned into something of an impromptu tailgate as people shared food and drink. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the initial reports from the Big Island suggested that the tsunami wave was smaller than anticipated. Soon reports came from the Maui shoreline that that the ocean had only receded a couple of feet at most. When the second and third waves of the tsunami proved to be little bigger than the first, we all started to feel a sense of relief. The worst had passed and it had not done any damage along the shoreline.
I wanted to thank our friends and clients on the mainland who called or e-mailed with their concerns. I also wanted to extend my thoughts and sympathies to those in Chile and other areas that were impacted heavily by the earthquake and tsunami.