Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Witness and a Warning

Nothing good every comes from being awoken from a sound sleep at 3 o'clock in the morning. And the phrase "I have some bad news" or "a tsunami is coming" really puts a strong emphasis on that point. I missed taking early morning shots of everyone milling around up at Makakilo park at 5 in the morning, mostly because I was still so tired and was nearing the ever allusive REM sleep when a knock on my door woke me.

We had set up our little band of tsunami-ites near the bus stop area. Traffic was starting to build as more and more people made their way from the lower shoreline and up the hill. Sitting on blankets that were spread out on the cold grass, I tried to grab a few minutes of sleep. But something about sleeping on the cold, hard ground just wasn't working for me. I remember thinking as I looked out at the homes across the street from the park, "Man are those people going to be surprised when they look out their doors and windows to see all of us sleeping at the park!"

As the early hours weened on, I surveyed my fellow evacuee's; the thought of "displaced refugees" came to mind. It was a cold, silent morning as rows of colored blankets and pillows covered the ground beneath the swings and overflowed onto the playground. You almost didn't notice that there were several families already there because it was so quiet. It made me wonder, if the tsunami does hit, then how long? How long would be here? Days? Weeks? Would they relocate us to a shelter? I tried to calm my mind, keep my thoughts from frantically running away. I kept an eye on the slow rising sun and wondered how the morning would unfold. Breakfast was fast approaching.

As morning gained a foothold on the day, I watched a few more trucks and vans pull up on the grassy area and set up tents and grills. We would all be here for the duration . . . however long that would be. The radio station kept us updated on the tsunami. They had estimated the tsunami's arrival around 11:30 am, it would hit Hilo first and then Oahu. As it neared the arrival time, we all headed up to the back of the park that had an unobstructed view of the ocean.
When the hour arrived and then past, I breathed a sigh of relief. But I still couldn't shake the feeling that this was a warning of "things yet to come". I'm sure there are those who probably saw this whole evacuation event as a waste of time and money, but it's no longer a matter of "if" but "when". It behooves us all to have our house in order, to be prepared. I don't mind telling you that the ordeal has put me in a different frame of mind. I'm not sure what frame of mind that is, but it's not the "let's wait and see".

3 comments:

Brenda said...

A lot of the recent natural disasters have made me think about the things in my life that need to be put in order. Definitely a wake up call for all of us who have become passive.

IWA (e - va) said...

The theme of this month has become "Get prepared" for our family... we were so lucky (and grateful) that the Tsunami didnt cause any big damage because we were not prepared at all... in almost every single way.

努力 said...

I do like ur article~!!! ........................................