First of all, my sincerest sympathies and good wishes to everyone and anyone in Japan affected by both the earthquake and the tsunami which hit last night, and to anyone worrying and waiting to hear from friends and relatives in Japan.
Last night, around 9 pm, my mother, sister and I heard about the earthquake in Japan, 8.9, and the tsunami created in its wake. Then we immediately heard that Hawaii was at risk for a rather large tsunami as an effect. Due to hit about 2:55 a.m.
Some months back, there was another tsunami warning, but it ended up only being a couple of inches, rather anti-climactic, thankfully. This time, as I apparently do with most major disasters, I watched the news for a few minutes then found something to distract myself (I think to avoid dealing with something so large that I feel useless to stop it). I live in Central Oahu--generally, if there's something coming and it's going to hit that far inland, there's not much I can do about it anyway. (Instead, I watched the Adam Lambert performance from the American Idol results show that I had recorded earlier and a few minutes of "27 Dresses".)
Eventually I was able to go to sleep, despite the emergency broadcast sirens going off every hour or so. According to the news, the tsunami hit Oahu around 3:30 a.m., sweeping around Kaua'i, then O'ahu, then Maui and the Big Island. Luckily, there hasn't been much damage, but buses still aren't running, evac zones are still evacuated, and we are still waiting for the all-clear.
Tsunami waves aren't always the big waves most people imagine, but more like a rising in sea level. Video from the near Japan showed an actual--large--wave, but right now I think we're just waiting to see if subsequent waves are as bad or if they'll lessen as they approach. By the time they got here, they'd already lessened somewhat, so no major damage so far.
Anyway, I woke up super early, so I figured I'd jump on and give you all an update so you wouldn't worry too much. (And then my internet became troublesome.)
My condolences to everyone in Japan hurt or suffering the damages of the earthquake and tsunami, and to anyone who is worrying and waiting to hear from someone in those regions. I saw the video last night and this morning and it hasn't been good.
Update: I'm watching the news, and Gov. Abercrombie has officially changed the status from Tsunami Warning to Tsunami Advisory, a lesser degree, which means some people who had evacuated can go home (not all if there was flooding).
For anyone who is in Hawaii, please don't go in the water. There are still "significant" waves. According to Lara Yamada at KITV, the tsunami will still be going on for another few hours.