Sat 27 Feb '10

"F&$k the tsunami, I'm going surfing." Freddie Patacchia's Tweet summed up a morning of hype and high drama after the expected tsunami turned into a damp squid all around the Pacific.

Freddie, tweeting from the Gold Coast where the Quiksilver Pro was cancelled for the day due to a tsunami warning, could have been speaking about Hawaii as well, such was the 'disappointment'.

First the tsunami was going to be a devastating 15 foot surge rocketing across the ocean from the Chile earthquake. Then it was a 8 foot, less dangerous but still potential deadly wave that had sirens going off, evacuations in place and live cameras streaming cooking, empty surf all around Hawaii after surfers got hauled out the waves.

Hawaiian weathermen kept tsunami locations secret to stop surfers from riding them. In the end, the tsunami from Chile caused a seris of long, slow minor surges and osclliating washes in inlets and rivers around the Hawaiian islands. Watching most live, streamed cameras showing blue ocean and beautiful empty waves was like watching grass grow. The most impressive footage was the surge under a bridge in Hilo, Hawaii, that sucked rapidly one way, calm down, then suck back the other, like the muddy brown rapids of an inland river.

All around the Pacific, the damage was much less than expected. The most severe waves were in Japan from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, with waves 1.2 metres high causing minor damage to coastal structures.

Before the tsunami arrived in Hawaii, a meteorologist on Hawaiian station KGMB sternly warned surfers to avoid the tsunami waves, saying spots where the tsunami would focus on had not been released to prevent surfers from finding them.

However, historically, the big island region around Hilo would get the worst of it, while there were warnings for Honolulu, Oahu. Oceanographers warned of significant waves and dangerous surges. Police helicopters flew over surfers off Diamond Head road east of Honolulu, warning them to get out of the water hours before the expected arrival of tsunamis, at 11.42am (Hawaiian time).

Oceanographers were starting to pick up info that downgraded the threat, but appeared reluctantly to publicly suggest so. One said that the height of the tsunami would be six feet, and was expected to be signifcantly smaller than orginally anticipated. However, he claimed, it would be big enough to pick up cars and people, and create dangerous surges along the coast, particularly on the island's eastern coastlines, such as Hilo, where deaths and big damagaes were sustained from a tsunami that pulsed out from a 1960 earthquake in a similar area in South America.

The DART buoys in the ocean recorded a much smaller tsunami, but the timing was nailed down to the minute, with many saying it was an excellent dress rehearsal for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

Hope Freddie got some barrels at Snapper.


Trevor Gray
0 #4 Trevor Gray 2010-03-01 12:32
Hoes dit ekse'
Had to chuckle at the corrections, very appropriate! Squid being a fishy invertebrate, much like the tsunami warning!Classic Spikism.
0 #3 spike_wavescape 2010-02-28 20:33
thankyou claus, i am aware of the correct use of the word, but this is an ocean play on it
Claus Andrup
0 #2 Claus Andrup 2010-02-28 19:27
Correction to the correction, it is 'squib' not 'squibb'
Claus Andrup
0 #1 Claus Andrup 2010-02-28 19:25

Look it up - I think the saying is 'damp squibb'

Other than those you will find in a fishmongers or a bait box, all squid are damp.
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