Many of us in the Islands have friends or relatives in the devasted areas of Japan, and our sincere good thoughts are with them and their families. Here's a little insight into the effect on Hawaii.
After tsunami warnings, and evacuations where necessary in low-lying areas throughout the islands, we were thankfully spared any major damage. Waves tore boats from their moorings and wrecked piers, but the damage was far less than scientists feared. Water swept over the beach in Waikiki and surged over the break wall, but stopped short of the hotels. In Keehi Small Boat Harbor, about 200 boats were damaged or broke free. At Haleiwa Harbor, piers were destroyed but no boats were damaged. Governor Neil Abercrombie said, "All of us had that feeling that Hawaii was just the most blessed place on the face of the Earth today."
A Hawaii disaster official's initial damage estimate for state property was at least $3 million. Damage to private properties is still being assessed. The tsunami hit Hawaii island's Kona Coast the hardest. County civil defense officials counted 18 homes and apartments that were destroyed or suffered major damage. 20 enterprises, from restaurants to resorts, also suffered major damage from flooding.
I live uphill from Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai, and was asleep when the first sirens started about 3 AM. All the schools and Ala Moana and Ward Centers were closed. I didn't notice any damage in Hawaii Kai.
Here are some photos of tsunami movement. I've always been curious how these big waves move across so much ocean, and the images tell the story.
This image provided by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center shows a 'tsunami forecast model' created by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii predicting the wave height of the tsunami generated by the Japanese earthquake on March 11. Hawaii's islands are located at the edge of the yellow pattern. (photo from CSMonitor.com)
(photo from News.Sky.com)