Whew! That was Close!!

As some of you may have heard, Hawaii had a close call with a tsunami that was generated by a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Canada. This occurred this past weekend on Saturday October 27 where it was viewed by many people that it was an ordinary Saturday. However, it was the day of the ACT test for me. After that exhausting and excruciatingly long test, I went home and spent time with my family like any normal Saturday. None knew of the warning that would soon befall us. At about 7 in the evening, my mom and I went to grab dinner for my family, I noticed everyone diving into the gas station and that the grocery stores were extremely full. My first thought was “is it the first of the month?” but I soon found out the source of the chaos when my iPad promptly dinged an alert that said a tsunami warning had just been issued for the state of Hawaii. I was surprised and caught off guard by this because earlier that day, I had another alert saying there was no tsunami warning for Hawaii. So, when we got home, we ate dinner while I hurriedly looked up the information, which turned out to be correct, and informed my parents on the update. Thank God we went shopping! And of course my brother, put in charge of gathering clothes for him and me, proceeded to dump all the contents of his dresser into two duffle bags, including his shoes,  grabbed his surfboard, video games, and his skateboard and went to put them in the car. As my mom and I finished with the food, I went to put it in our “empty car” and was bombarded with the sight of all the things my brother owned stuffed haphazardly into the car. Oh he wasn’t happy the rest of the night. As we were leaving, the sound of the sirens was heard throughout the state of Hawaii and reminded me that this might be the last time I would ever see my home again. We waited and waited and as the clock grew near to 10:28, we grew more and more anxious.


11:00 came and went and I soon found myself asleep, or trying to sleep because of my mom’s obnoxiously loud snoring. We were allowed to return home at about 3:00 in the morning after the warning was degraded to advisory status. I was elated that God had spared the State of Hawaii again after a close call in 2011 when a tsunami destroyed part of Japan and was able to sleep well that morning knowing that we were safe. Later on, I found out that people refused to evacuate from their homes that were in the danger zone because they believed that the tsunami would not come. They were right but I don’t think it was very smart of them to gamble their life or family on the belief that a disaster might not occur. If it had happened, they would have died because of their stupidity and carelessness. I think all disasters are to be taken seriously because it can creep up at you and surprise you when you least expect it. After that close call, you could have felt Hawaii release its breath and say”Whew! That was Close!!” 



  1. Hi Kristy!
    As you may have figured out, I also live here in Hawaii! I think it’s interesting that you took such a serious approach to this tsunami warning. When the warning initially started, my dad and I investigated, but due to the length away from the earthquake and the predictions for no more than five feet of waves that the news was giving us, we weren’t worried at all. In fact, of everyone I know, I can only think of one other person who was concerned with the warnings, and she lives near the shoreline! I suppose part of my family’s lack of concern was due to the fact that we’re up in the mountains, and if we have to be evacuated, then most of the island will most likely be underwater. For the tsunami in 2011, though there was minor damage, I don’t recall there being much concern. Our school didn’t let out for the warning, and I still had to travel across the island to Honolulu and back later that day. I guess it just depends on where you live in Hawaii!
    – Interesting post! I’m glad the tsunami didn’t affect us! Cat


  2. Kristy,
    Wow, that sounds like a whole lot of chaos in one night. It is amazing how your family took it so seriously. How do you feel about the security and warning you got? Do you wish you knew earlier? Was there enough time to do everything you needed? Thanks so much for a great story!


  3. Hey Kristy!

    Glad you and your family are all ok! I’ve gotta say that the modern warning systems today are pretty great. I know that Apple products now have these emergency alerts built in, but I wonder what’s in place for those who can’t afford these expensive products to get such an early warning. It seems like that you got an alert way before many others, and for many the sirens may perhaps be the only warning. I’m glad that your family, and all of those at risk of tsunamis in developed countries have these early warnings but what about those in the less developed countries. I think that the world needs to work on these, because people in those less developed countries deserve the right to be able to be warned about these things. What are your thoughts, and how do you think we should implement these in other countries, if you think that should happen.

    Stay Safe!


  4. Hello Kristy!
    First of all, I am happy to hear that you are all safe!!!! It is awesome that there are so many advancements being made constantly to help keep as many people safe as possible. I really enjoyed hearing your perspective on the whole ordeal! Are there any suggestions you have for the government to help create even better alert and safety systems?



  5. Great post! I’m glad that you and your family are ok. Reading this post informed me about the tsunami that I never even knew happened. My family has a house in Kauai and can’t imagine what it must of felt like knowing your life was in danger. It’s great that you and your family were very prepared. How were you feeling during the warnings? Preparing for the worst or hoping for the better?



  6. Hi Kristy,

    I am glad you and your family are safe! I think it is great that you took the warning so seriously. Today we are blessed to have such effective technology, that it is stupid to ignore it. I had the chance to go to Japan this last summer to help with the Tsunami clean up. I learned a lot about what happened during the disaster, and one of the main reason that people died was because they did not listen to the warnings. If more people had listened, they would have the chance to escape, and there is a big chance they would still be alive today. I think that any warning, small or big, certain or uncertain, should not be taken lightly when lives are at stack. Hopefully next time people will listen. Stay safe!



  7. Hello!
    It’s so interesting to hear about this – I didn’t even know it happened, as natural-disaster related news was mainly focused on Hurricane Sandy. Where was it that you were evacuated to? Did you just move farther inland? I’m glad everything was okay… the increasing frequency of natural disasters does seem to be rising. In California, though we haven’t had any major earthquakes recently, we’ve certainly had some smaller ones that I’ve felt. Then there is the obvious Hurricane Sandy and this tsunami warning in Hawaii. People definitely need to take such disasters seriously. The other problem in the United States is our infrastructure; we have very low infrastructure ratings and because of this, as we saw in Hurricane Katrina, massive damages can be incurred that are not only economically expensive but also endanger thousands of peoples lives.
    Great post!


  8. Hi Kristy,

    I’m glad you are safe from the tsunami. I think it’s interesting that I hadn’t heard about this. It seems that the news was so focused on Sandy that this got overlooked. I’m glad you had enough time to get to safety, and I agree that people who ignore warnings are stupid. Even if they don’t end up happening it’s not worth risking your life over it. I have always thought this when it comes to people who ignore fires or earthquake warnings or storm warnings. Why risk your life when it’s so easy to just keep yourself safe? Great post!



  9. Kristy,

    I loved reading your post about the tsunami and hearing your point of view! I live in the Midwest and these natural disasters are only things I hear about and never experience. It hadn’t even occurred to me that while everyone was focusing on Hurricane Sandy, your state need attention as well. Thank goodness for technology and the alert that you received about the upcoming storm! I think that people need to heed the advice of meteorologists and reporters when it comes to dangerous events such as this. After all, they are getting paid to report accurate information intended to keep Americans save. I am trying to empathize with you when you talked about possibly seeing your house for the last time. How did that impact you? How much of a relief was it knowing that you could soon return? Thank you again for your awesome post!



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