So, maybe you heard that Chile is slightly shaken up as of this morning. An 8.8 earthquake some are noting as "100 times more powerful" than Haiti's hit this morning. Damage and deaths are still being assessed. Meanwhile, in Hawaii:
Everyone is getting on their feet and getting the fuck out of dodge towards Tsunami warning zones, as they probably should. If you are at a computer in Hawaii near a shore reading this, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THE INTERNET? Please grab your cats and run, now.
Rather than attempt to explain what a Tsunami is, where it's coming, or how it's going to hit, I'd rather just share the National Weather Service's report, which excels above all others in its design to scare the everloving piss out of you:
A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE ALONG COASTLINES OF ALL ISLANDS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. URGENT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.
A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF LONG OCEAN WAVES. EACH INDIVIDUAL WAVE CREST CAN LAST 5 TO 15 MINUTES OR MORE AND EXTENSIVELY FLOOD COASTAL AREAS. THE DANGER CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL WAVE AS SUBSEQUENT WAVES ARRIVE. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST.
TSUNAMI WAVES EFFICIENTLY WRAP AROUND ISLANDS. ALL SHORES ARE AT RISK NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION THEY FACE. THE TROUGH OF A TSUNAMI WAVE MAY TEMPORARILY EXPOSE THE SEAFLOOR BUT THE AREA WILL QUICKLY FLOOD AGAIN. EXTREMELY STRONG AND UNUSUAL NEARSHORE CURRENTS CAN ACCOMPANY A TSUNAMI. DEBRIS PICKED UP AND CARRIED BY A TSUNAMI AMPLIFIES ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER. SIMULTANEOUS HIGH TIDES OR HIGH SURF CAN SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE TSUNAMI HAZARD.
THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME IN HAWAII OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS
1105 AM HST SAT 27 FEB 2010.
Yeah, that was half an hour ago. I'll update here as we hear more. In the mean time, other reporters are reporting that Hawaii should be worried, not terrified, but still doing anything but being on the internet near a beach. Even if you're playing Dolphin Olympics 2. You can do that on high land, you know?
Shiro said residents should be prepared for "a rapid rise in sea level" that could persist for an extended period of time. "In most places in Hawaii, we are expecting tsunamis on the order of 2 to 3 feet in height. Not too big. But in those bays, some of those harbors, it could be as high as 10 to 12 feet," he said.
Hilo on the Big Island was expected to be one of the first and most severely hit, but authorities said Maui and Oahu could also expect significant levels of water. Shelly Ichishita at the state department of civil defense said authorities were expecting to evacuate more than 100,000 people in long-designated tsunami zones before the waves hit. "The danger could last for hours, because the first wave is not necessarily the worst," she said. "We are taking this very seriously."
From Tommy Russo, the Maui Times publisher, via Anthony De Rosa, this:
Ive never seen coastline like this. It just rose 20feet in 90 seconds.
Also, from the front page of Hawaii's state civil defense page:
I don't live anywhere remotely close to Hawaii, and I'm terrified. As for the Chile earthquake, Barack Obama has already promised assistance for Chile (though they have yet to make any assurances regarding hicks who get angry because they don't know where Chile, hicks making "Chili" jokes, or over leaving overwrought self-serving "Save Chile" benefits behind and just donating money instead of spending it on another big Bono-helmed shitshow production). I have yet to see any reports noting this, but one could probably guess that he is probably also headed towards his native Hawaii right now, because if we haven't already mentioned, there are giant fucking waves heading there.
The Chilean government's telling its citizenry to stay inside. Our State Department has advised that no American fatalities from the earthquake in Chile have been reported at the moment, but if you need to talk to them, there are numbers to call (1-888-407-4747) and task forces to email (ChileEarthquake@state.gov). Also, via USA Today, there's a Person Finder that Google set up, just like the Haitian earthquake.
Basically, if I lived in Haiti, I'd be worried that the world is about to divide its resources inadequately when Haiti still needs lots of help, if I were in Hawaii I'd be headed towards high ground, and if I were in L.A, I'd be scared shitless, because whatever's below our feet is moving and it is moving like it is pissed and it has a tendency to be pissed at California. On the other hand, best case scenario is that California breaks off America and moves out to sea with zero casualties, and we will officially be living in a James Cameron movie naturally starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. But hopefully that won't happen.