Monday, October 16, 2006

Earthquakes rock. duh.

6.7 and 6.0 magnitude

My second floor bedroom wall is up against the corrugated-metal garage roof, and the incessant drumming from heavy rain at 2:00 AM was so damn LOUD that I gave up trying to sleep. I read for a while, then decided to clean off my dresser and organize some drawers instead. Very strange behavior for me. Gotta admit, I was a little nervous and was just hoping it just wouldn't flood again like it did in April.

Eventually the rain subsided so fell back in bed and enjoyed a really peaceful nap (after all, I had finally cleaned off my dresser and drawers!) . The next time I opened my eyes I was delighted to find that it was almost 7:00, later than I ever get up, and that Rocky Raccoon had actually let me sleep past 5:30 on a Sunday for once! He noticed I was awake, so ran on up to go though his usual morning routine (licked my hands, feet, and especially top of my head) until I had enough and I made him go back to his towels at the foot of the bed.

A couple of minutes later a huge convoy rolled through the yard. Or a plane lost altitude as it flew overhead. Or a crazy-ass tornado circled the house. Or maybe it was just a herd of very lost buffalo.

I sat up, looked at the cat, who was dozing obliviously at the foot of the bed, and called out to him. Only then did he sit up straight and look around, wondering what those very noisy buffalo were doing in our yard. I couldn't wait for him to figure it out, so I ran to the doorway and did what they say to do, though I feared the old house might crumble, bringing me and the door jamb crashing to the ground floor.

The quake hit at 7:08 AM on a Sunday, probably the best day and time possible. It caused very little damage on Oahu, though the island-wide power outage was a real inconvenience, especially for tourists and those low on gas who, for some reason, needed to be on the road. Long lines formed at the few stores and gas stations that were able to remain open, but I couldn't really understand why. It was DAYLIGHT, for goodness sake, the rain had temporarily abated, so why were ice, batteries, water, and beer in such demand and being sold out so quickly?? Sheesh, don't people keep a stash? (yeah, I do, but replace "beer" with "wine".)

The Big Island of Hawaii, where the quakes were nearest, suffered much damage, but, amazingly, reported few injuries and no fatalities. A teeny little four-inch tsunami (tidal wave) was generated.

Oahu regained power slowly and methodically, and I got power back about 11.5 hours later, just as it was getting dark. I was kind of bummed because I had set out candles in most rooms and was prepared to rough it out, at least until the next morning when I had to use my blow dryer and curling iron.

I heard that TV news reports (which I couldn't view) made it seem that a catastrophic disaster had befallen our little islands. Yes, the Big Island of Hawaii sustained a lot of structural and property damage, and roadways were closed and are now in need of repair. But some other islands barely felt anything, and never even lost electrical power. I don't know what CNN and Fox showed, but I can guess. After all, they would only be sent the most dramatic shots to broadcast, and who would want to hear about folks who took advantage of their "down" time catching up on reading, cleaning their houses, brushing their cats, and playing old board games with their kids?

It could have been so much worse. As it was, Mother Nature considerately waited until the sun was up, kids weren't in school, and most people home so could take care of their cats and kids. After the initial surprise and shock, most of us probably were able to reflect, slow down, and appreciate what we have. It would've been hard to not think of other recent disasters. Hawaii definitely can be a paradise.


Joey Polanski said...

Alls I kno is that if I jus cleand my drawrs rite bfore a earfquake, theyd be dirty again right aftr it.

Dangd glad t kno yer okay. On a sad note, theres been no werd from Gilligans Iland fer th last twenny years or so.

HissyFitz said...

It wasn't rockin' enough on this island to soil drawers, but I'll bet there was a lot of that going on on the Big Island.

Didjya know that those scenes of The Minnow were shot here in Honolulu?

Joey Polanski said...

Jus dont tell me that them scenes ON Gilligans Iland itself was shot in Hawayi. Id hate t think them fokes was lost inside one o th fifty states.