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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Readers comment on the tsunami and its aftermath

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Dozens of boats were moved out of harbors and into open waters Saturday when a tsunami warning was issued for Hawai'i.

Photo by Pete Cronberg

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I live ocean-side on Punchbowl Crater and I'd like to compliment our harbormaster office.

In the hours before the Chilean earthquake waves hit our island, they managed to direct dozens of boats out from the harbor and into well-spaced anchorages off our south shore. It was quite a sight.

Pete Cronberg | Honolulu


Thank you to all the professional folks who gave so many hours on our behalf to keep us informed and safe from the tsunami threat.

Please don't whine about any inconvenience you may have experienced.

If you have some constructive ideas that can help the team continue to improve — and they are always doing that — I'm sure they will listen.

We dodged the bullet again and we should all be very thankful.

judy mick | Kailua


I spent a few hours at a local hotel Saturday, just in case my loved one who had to work needed a way out.

I was impressed by the aloha staff showed the guests. But I wondered:

During an emergency, what type of services and amenities are guests entitled to?

Are the state's beloved hospitality workers expected to put tourists before their own families?

Police, firefighters and other first responders know what they are signing up for, but do bus drivers?

So many people who work in hospitals, airports, news media and countless other industries are expected to put work before their families.

At what point is it every man for himself? Had people known the damage that Katrina or the Asian tsunami were to bring, I doubt they would have gone to work to serve mai tais to folks on vacation.

I would like to urge everyone to plan ahead and reach out to the families of those who indeed serve others before themselves.

Let's keep an eye out on their loved ones while they do the important work that may save us all.

mark ida | Salt Lake


I was tied up in Näwiliwili harbor on Kaua'i during the tsunami in April 1946.

At approximately 7 a.m., the harbor waters quietly rose about seven feet and then quickly dropped about nine feet, where my vessel sat on the bottom. The big wave came next and quickly removed stacks of lumber and other items into the harbor. We were fortunate to have been in the corner of the harbor where there was minimal action.

That wave originated in the Gulf of Alaska some 2,000 miles from here and had an unobstructed ocean on its way. The wave from Chile was more than three times that distance and had to pass the Marquesas, Tuamotos and French Polynesia on its way here.

I would say a tsunami is driven by a form of kinetic energy produced when an earthquake causes a slipping of faults under the ocean, but gradually loses force on its way — thus the near nil effect experienced here.

The public was certainly well warned, so we need to take what has been learned from this one to the next before crying wolf to such an extent.

curtis A. "Bud" Thompson | Honolulu


Kudos to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Civil Defense, and the media for a superb job of keeping us all well informed about what turned out — fortunately — to be only a "tsudonami."

Jim Hoenig | Honolulu


While our families and communities were fortunately spared the devastating effects of tsunami waves that have become all too familiar in recent years, our coral reefs may not have been as lucky.

It will take time to determine what the impact of Saturday's tsunami will be on our reefs and fish communities. The increased underwater turbulence and violent churning of land-based debris and sediment in and out of our streams and bays may have damaged and placed additional stress on our reefs that are of such vital economic, cultural, and recreation importance for us.

There should be an investigation into what impact this event has had on the health of our coral reefs here at home. We learned the hard way back in 2004 that healthy coral reefs meant less coastal destruction and loss of life during the teletsunami that devastated Southeast Asia.

This weekend's near miss is an important reminder that we must take better care of our reefs here at home, both for our sake and theirs.

John Parks | Honolulu


I am totally appalled at the state Civil Defense.

Every first of the month the sirens sound and a message heard across all local radio and TV stations states that this is a test of the emergency broadcast system and in case of a real event to turn to your local radio/TV station to receive important information.

So Saturday, in a REAL event, the sirens sound, we turn to first the radio and then multiple TV stations, but instead of hearing a Civil Defense message we hear each uneducated news person offering their opinion of what is going on and giving conflicting information.

Some interviewed Civil Defense personnel while others were interviewing tourists on the street asking their opinion of this event.

Even the governor, due to "technical problems," could not be heard immediately.

I sure hope lessons will be learned so that next time there won't be more misinformation than correct information given, and that Civil Defense officials will provide the most current and accurate information to everyone across all the media.

John Toillion | Mililani