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Surfing Hawaii’s Tsunami?

There was a Tsunami warning that went into effect about midnight last night.  A Tsunami was generated as a result of a 8.8 earthquake in Chile.  It was scheduled to hit the Islands around 11:00 am but actually didn’t show up until about 11:40 am in the form of some shifting of tides and water levels raising and falling.  Fortunately, Hawaii  had so much advanced notice that the islands were able to prepare early.   Most boats left their harbors and set anchor in open water.  Tourists were asked to evacuate beaches and stay above the 3rd floors of their hotels.  Most surfers did not go out in the water and the few remaining around Diamond Head were asked by the coast guard and fire department to come in.  There was one defiant surfer who was surfing Queens beach despite warnings.

The south swell this morning was small but maybe the absence of a crowd was too good to resist.  Tidal waves aren’t surfing waves; they don’t break in sets where the ocean settles between sets.  A Tsunami is more of a massive abrupt change to the tide so the wave is more of a tide surge where the water levels just suddenly rise with the surge.   The Tsunami warning is expected to be lifted within the hour and the island is getting back to normal after this morning’s alerts.

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