Saturday, February 27, 2010

Waiting for a Tsunami (not so much)

What a way to start the weekend!
We awoke this morning on our little tropical island to the sounds of the tsunami sirens just after 6am. My husband jumped into shorts and t shirts and raced to the store and the gas station within minutes of the sirens to get supplies and gas up. Their were long lines for gas and food at the stores but everyone was really calm and laughter and excitement filled the store, even at 7am. One woman stood on the side of the road asking every car waiting in traffic "what are you doing today?" and the answers were totally varied. You can only imagine! Another story was that one of the local grocery stores put a limit of 2 cans of SPAM per customer but allowed them to buy as much beer as they wanted- too funny! I cancelled my four photo shoots for the day and sent fellow photographer, Kirk Shorte, back to the Big Island mid trip. Our models for the day were calling and texting starting at 6am to cancel since they were scrambling to take care of their homes and families and get to higher ground.
The sirens continued to go off intermittently throughout the morning and at a little after 11am the tsunami was supposed to hit the island's north shore and possibly wrap around to the rest of the island. Once we had supplies, we secured the house and our confused dogs and headed higher upcountry to get some photos.
Look at the creativity that people used to enjoy their time on higher ground- some of these are brilliant. One guy was selling hot dogs and sausages on the side of the road (see umbrellas on the right) while people were waiting in long lines for gas- mind you, this is only 9am.
Others took the opportunity to pull seats out of their mini vans and set up makeshift couches under shade trees to wait until the All Clear.
Mini tent "villages" were quickly set up and people slept on blankets or cooked meals with hibachi grills. One guy even showed me how he was able to cook rice on his hibachi. brilliant!
Some people used their pick up trucks as home base had beach chairs to sit on and they brought a cooler filled with whatever they could buy in the back of their pick up truck along with a case of water. Classic island style!
No tsunami ever came from the day but we had fun talking to our friends and neighbors and sharing stories throughout the day.
A hui hou,


  1. I guess this part of the price of living in paradise. My sister (also a maui resident) said she was happy that everything was orderly and that the wave didn't end up hitting.

  2. Fun shots and blog post Aubrey!
    It looks like we all had the same idea-to take pictures during the wait for the tsunami! When my mom woke us up at 5:30 I packed a quick bag of clothes, journal and book, then ran downstairs to get my camera and laptop! I figured I'd need them whether the tsunami hit or not! When it didn't hit, my friends and I had an impromptu photoshoot in their backyard. XD It was fun!