Tsunami Warning in Beautiful Maui

A Memorable Morning: Tsunami Warning in Hana, Maui – The early hours of February 27th, 2010, found us camping on a beach in Hana Maui, still wrapped in the tranquility of the night. Suddenly, the serenity was shattered by her voice, thick with a Chicago accent, urgently declaring, “We need to go, there is a Tsunami warning.” The news of the 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile had reached us, triggering a Tsunami warning across the Hawaiian Islands. In the darkness before dawn, panic momentarily gripped Jonas, but I remained calm, knowing we had time. With a sense of urgency, we made our way to Fagan’s Cross, perched high near Travaasa Hana Resort. As one of the first to arrive, we were joined by a family from Vancouver, seeking refug.

As the minutes ticked by, the scene around us unfolded like a surreal movie. War planes buzzed overhead, their engines a stark contrast to the serene landscape below. Old-school sirens wailed in warning, and mobile phones buzzed with frantic calls from American tourists at the nearby resort. Yet amidst the chaos, the locals remained remarkably composed. Despite the looming threat, the spirit of aloha prevailed. Locals arrived armed with shelters, beers, and food, offering hospitality to all in need. Even amidst the tension, life went on. A wedding ceremony unfolded nearby, with a Californian couple juggling and a pet baby goat adding to the eclectic scene.

In the end, the Hawaiian Islands were spared from the full force of the tsunami. The ocean, like a giant bathtub, receded quickly before returning with little force. We breathed a collective sigh of relief, grateful that the beautiful locals had emerged unscathed.As the sun rose over the horizon, illuminating the tranquil beauty of Hana, Maui, we reflected on the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of community in times of crisis. Though our camping trip had taken an unexpected turn, it had left us with a newfound appreciation for the strength and solidarity of the Hawaiian people.

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© Shell Eide & Jonas Kiesecker
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