Sunday, February 28, 2010

Slow motion tsunami watch

Yesterday's magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile gave us time enough for two panic attacks, and I'm not going to the beach today.

A patrol officer announced the first tsunami watch at about ten o'clock last night. Sort of: I saw the lights and heard a marble-mouthfilled underwater voice. But the employees called soon after, then some customers. 'Are you open? Will you be open?'

No irresponsible lout, I pecked my way to the trusty Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The site loaded in my browser more slowly than a government payment, and I soon learned why. A big one. We love lists and this comes in five on the top ten since 1900. (Hawaii was particularly nervous. Number one was from Chile too, I think, and it had a killer tsunami.(Evidently yes, at least it was just confirmed via CNN breaking news overkill.))

Still, the Pacific Ocean covers a third of the world. Chile is in the Southeast, we're in the Northwest. Even using the ballpark figure of commercial jetspeed without a TSA check beforehand, I could count on a good night's sleep before giving it much thought-- though there were early reports of 3-7 foot waves close to the quake.

Three feet in Hilo, Hawaii, the cable networks said at about 10:00 our time (Except CNBC; they were featuring Akio Toyoda falling on his sword before the U.S. Congress.) I should have recorded their boring beach pictures, it would be useful as one of those 'therapeutic' video relaxation programs.

So, at about 1:00 this afternoon I'll be at home. I live in Garapan, but up a hill. Safe enough. My neighbors went crazy when a police car went around again this morning. Massive chatter, I saw people with suitcases and bottles of water. None of my business.

If I had the ambition or energy, I'd head over to Old Man by the Sea or Jeffries Beach and try to grab a photo from a safe height. Hmm... Laulau Bay from the old Chamorro Village might be interesting. Nah, I'll play a computer game.


The Saipan Blogger said...

Facebook is usually more accurate and up to date than the CNMI government agencies

1904 quake said...

Captain Kangaroo and Mr Green Jeans are usually more accurate and up to date than the US government agencies.

KAP said...

They used social networking in Hawaii. Here, most of the people aren't on the internet so they have to depend on the government-- tho I wonder why the nits who text about their goofy promotions couldn't use the same phone number list to do something useful.

I think the PTWC site got swamped-- too much traffic. They seemed good to me. I got something like 26 bulletins -- most timely, some late, but I think that was the Yahoo servers; thinking of getting my notices at a gmail account.

Chile ('Robinson Crusoe Island') wasn't so lucky.

Anonymous said...

Alles richtig so

KAP said...