Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tsunami on Maui

a deserted Kaanapali Beach by Lubo
"Aloha goes long way on crazy day" is the headline in today's Maui news. The article spoke of a visiting baseball team on the island for a tournament hosted by Maui High School and how they were rousted from their hotel at 6:30 AM and ended up at the home of some locals on the Waioluli Hawaiian Homestead. Here they stayed until the all-clear sounded at 2:00 PM. Many more similar tales of residents opening their homes to friends and strangers have been told, and ours is one of them.
Around 4:00 AM on Saturday morning our telephone rang, and I immediately was worried that something had happened to a family member back in Canada. Instead, it was our friend John who calmly stated that "We are having a tsunami today and you had better come over here" As our condo is just across the road from the beach in Central Kihei, we were in an evacuation zone and so felt some urgency in getting out of there. As we listened to the updates on the TV, we quickly packed valuables, documents, clothing, food and water into our car and headed to Wailuku.
When we arrived we called some Canadian friends who were also close to the ocean and they joined us.
We felt so fortunate to be in a comfortable home with friends. All we could do was watch the coverage on TV and wait for the impending disaster. As the deadline approached it was inevitable that Maui, was to be the brunt of a very damaging wave, or waves, and that we would more than likely lose our second home. As the announcer's voice reached a deafening pitch of excitement, we knew that it would soon be over so we just waited for everything to go quiet. A calm after the storm. Nothing happened at the fateful hour, so we waited longer just in case the scientists had miss-calculated. We watched little swells come in and out of Hilo Bay. We then heard that it did in fact hit Maui with an insignificant 3.2 ft. wave. How did we feel? Relieved yes, and grateful. Grateful for the Aloha extended to us by our friends on high ground.
Did we ever think once that the warning shouldn't have gone out? Absolutely not, because The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has to err on the side of everyone's safety and we have to trust their judgment. We were very impressed with the emergency systems and how all county workers, police officers, fire fighters and government officials worked together for the good of a community in crisis. For us it was a very much appreciated drill and made us more aware of what we had to do in a natural disaster. Mayor Charmaine Travers said the following: "Even though we've escaped again, there will come a day when we will get hit, and through all these kinds of things, we get prepared." I would actually like to change her words to a more optimistic "There could come a day when we might get hit”: At any rate it does give us food for thought and discussion. For us we are happy that we can offer The Maui Garden House as a vacation rental to Maui visitors.


  1. Kudos for your comments on the Aloha Spirit. We were privileged to
    be the grateful recipients of a very welcome "port in the storm" as
    well, and can attest to the kindness of strangers who went out of
    their way to see to the needs of others. We have all learned something
    from this, whether it be personal preparedness, understanding the
    routines in place (& that NEED to be in place), or just fine-tuning our
    sense of community spirit, appreciation and connectedness. We are
    truly blessed here in Paradise.

  2. You exuded the spirit of aloha at this time that time of "crisis". We are so glad the big tsunami did not happen, only small one. We are thankful :)

  3. We have been thinking of you, and so happy that all turned out well!! It is wonderful you have amazing friends that call and share their home.

  4. It is wonderful that you have such great friends and that the Alhoa was felt by so many in the time of need. So happy the big wave didn't hit !!! We were thinking of you and watching the weather here on our Island too.. Love your Snorkel buddy from Vancouver Island

  5. Thanks Sis. Miss you. I really need a snorkeling buddy. I haven't been in the ocean nearly enough this year.