1) We have offshore buoy reports that accurately predict swells (size and direction) coming into Hawaiian waters. These are the buoys that give us our surf forecasts, and the forecasters who translate this information are amazingly accurate. So wouldn’t you think that these same buoys could give us the same information about a wave generated by a tsunami? On top of that there is tsunami detection equipment set not only on buoys but on the sea floor. NOAA satellite’s can measure the surface of the ocean to a millimeter, minute by minute, as well as sand build up under the water. So wouldn’t they be able to measure a 3-6 foot swell heading into Hawai’i, especially as the wave got closer? Sure there are degrees of variance, including how a tsunami may hit different areas on the island. But post event we now hear that many looking at the readings already knew the wave was going to safely pass Hawai’i. So why wasn’t the tsunami called an “advisory” (which would have better fit their criteria) instead of a warning”, at least as it made its way closer and it became more undeniable?
2) The alarms went off at 6am and instead of authorities saying, Get your ass out of town by 11:00, what was repeatedly stated is, you have plenty of time, don’t rush, don’t hurry. Sure, in the best of worlds keeping people calm and collected in the face of challenges is a wonderful accomplishment (especially with Hawai’i’s quickly congested 1-2 lane roads), but one would assume more fervent evacuations might have been conducted. Though many evacuations took place, some who reside in shoreline areas commented that it felt a little off that with such a definite forecast of a tsunami warning there wasn’t a greater sense of imminent danger.
A possible conclusion: If the government agency in charge of emergency response chose to – instead of calling off the warning – use the situation as a tsunami drill… then the drill was well performed and a success. Fact is, it’d be darn near impossible to make a true-to-life mock tsunami drill, so it was a great opportunity. In the end of course, it’s always better to err on caution (unless you’re Chicken Little). And as far as economic stimulation (well, at least for Foodland and the news shows/sites) – check!
Anyway, you decide.
p.s. You think I can return all these supa-sized Crystal Geyser waters?
p.p.s. Btw, the info about the tsunami readings, that it was known early on that Hawai’i was in no danger, was confirmed by an anonymous higher-up in the military with a little lot more insider info than us surf rats.
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March 1, 2010: Today the news explained away the tsunami warning stating that the readings for the tsunami were 50% higher than they should have been. That no tsunami warning for Hawai’i should have even been made. So why was it? Officials blamed it on unexperienced workers who couldn’t read the new equipment correctly.
They didn’t mention when this fug-up was actually realized, but it does mean we’re supposed to believe that they based this huge tsunami warning on a few incompetent workers. Regardless, as it made its way towards Hawaiian waters (where we have the most amazing surf forecasters, tsunami central for the Pacific, etc.), logic dictates that the true nature of this tsunami must have been realized well before the warning was finally called off after noon.
Again, you decide…..