A Tsunami has hit Hawaii. Evacuations are underway.
[Update 4:50 a.m.] Gerard Fryer, senior geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to reporters:
– "The tsunami is arriving right now. I can't say how big it is because it's coming in as we speak."
"Typically the first wave is not the largest. Having inconvenienced everybody by making them evacuate in the middle of the night, I was hoping it would be bigger. The following waves I am sure will be bigger."
To all our friends on the east coast, and those in in Hawaii please be safe, and let us know how you are doing.
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1 am MT: The Kyodo News Agency reports more than 2,000 people have died or are unaccounted for. In Minamisanriku, a town in Miyagi with 10,000 people, more than 5,000 people are unaccounted for. The police chief thinks the toll in Miyagi could exceed 10,000. Hundreds of bodies have been found under rubble. In one town hit by the Tsunami, the town hall and a nursing home were swept out to sea. Neither the mayor nor the elderly patients have been heard from.
20,000 buildings have been damaged or destroyed and more than 300,000 in six perfectures have been evacuated. The power outages may last weeks. The LA Times has some descriptive photos of the destruction here. For this family, it's like watching a scene from that new show Waking Dead. What an awful shock. One day life is fine, the next day it's gone. These picture pretty well capture the extent of the property damage in that area.
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Update: 2:45 a.m. MT: Evacuations ordered in Hawaii, see Donald's comments below. Here's a live news stream for night owls. The "hit time" is set for about 3:00 am Hawaii time. Coastal inundation zones are most at risk. If you are in one, it's time to evacuate now. The Mayor of Honolulu is on now and he sounds like everything is under control, all the agencies are working with each other -- including police, fireman planning, hospitals, hotels. "Don't believe the worst is going to happen, but prepare for the worst that could happen." He's very calm. They've prepared for the homeless, the animals at the zoo, etc.
The water system will be shut down on Maui around when the tsunami hits so everyone needs to get water. But things should get back to normal quickly.
A huge earthquake, 8.9 in magnitude, has hit Japan, triggering a massive tsunami.[More...]
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