Tsunami Scare

...A TSUNAMI WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT WHICH INCLUDES THE
   COASTAL AREAS OF CALIFORNIA AND OREGON FROM POINT
   CONCEPCION CALIFORNIA TO THE OREGON-WASHINGTON BORDER...

PERSONS IN TSUNAMI WARNING COASTAL AREAS SHOULD MOVE INLAND TO
HIGHER GROUND.

TSUNAMI WARNINGS MEAN THAT A TSUNAMI WITH SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD
INUNDATION IS IMMINENT OR EXPECTED.  TSUNAMIS ARE A SERIES OF
WAVES POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SEVERAL HOURS AFTER INITIAL ARRIVAL
TIME. ESTIMATED TIMES OF INITIAL WAVE ARRIVAL FOR SELECTED
SITES IN THE WARNING ARE PROVIDED BELOW.

CHARLESTON-OR    0715  PST MAR 11  SEASIDE-OR       0724  PST MAR 11
CRESCENT CITY-CA 0723  PST MAR 11  SAN FRANCISCO-CA 0808  PST MAR 11

Awoken by my wife at 1:30am by news of a catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami generated out of Japan.  Half asleep and not having all the facts, we woke up the boys, grabbed essentials, packed the car, and were ready to roll until realizing it wasn’t supposed to arrive till morning.  Whew!  Texted a buddy in Hawaii who was busy packing his survival kit and readying as well.  Tried to go back to sleep, but the the images of the first waves coming ashore in Japan were haunting.  Didn’t sleep well….left TV on all night so I could half listen to any new updates.

Woke up at 6am glued to the TV again.  Some neighbors were up and readying their departure.  One of my neighbors in a downstairs apartment had been up since 4am packing his valuables in his truck.  ‘If this thing floods my apartment, I’m done’, was the first thing out of his mouth.  There wasn’t any panicking since SF has never had a big Tsunami, but it had people’s attention.  We left our apartment and drove up to higher ground where we could get a view of the ocean just to be safe.  I didn’t think anything was going to happen since it was supposed to only be a 2-4ft surge, but better safe than sorry.  I’ve seen the footage of Thailand, Indonesia, and now Japan and so didn’t want to risk anything.

We sat up on the hill watching the surf and every time we saw a big one feather out on the outer bars we wondered if that was the start of the tsunami making itself known.  We ended up sitting in our van with pillows and sleeping bags while we listened to reports of traffic on 92 out of Half Moon Bay and 17 out of Santa Cruz being backed up by evacuees.  We were wondering why no one was reporting what had happened in Hawaii or Crescent City….indicators for what was coming our way.  Right after we vocalized our frustration with the lousy coverage was when we heard about water surging out of Santa Cruz Harbor….and then surging back in a few minutes later.  We thought we could see the ocean receding from our vantage point, but was hard to tell.  45 minutes after it was supposed to have hit, we decided it was safe to venture back down and have a look to see what we could see.

Couldn’t see much except an exceptionally low tide and some good sized swell in the water.  Surprised to see as many spectators as I did all with the same burning curiosity.

Beautiful morning and was interesting to see the neighborhood so quiet.  Great Hwy was shut down and of course the beach, which didn’t deter a few of us.

It was a bit of an eerie calm.  People weren’t talking to one another much, but just staring out to sea or talking on the cell phone.

Based on the news I heard this morning, sounds like Santa Cruz Harbor was the worst hit in this area.  We are sending our prayers and best wishes to all the people affected by this horrible tragedy in Japan.  I have been through a bunch of earthquakes, including the one in Taiwan that killed 2,000+ people, but can’t even fathom what an 8.9 for two minutes would feel like.

Looking forward to getting some rest this weekend.

Hope all our friends in Japan, Taiwan, Hawaii and other affected areas are safe today.

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