Earthquake in Chile, possible tsunami heading for Hawaii

The big island will get waves that are 8ish feet high, but the Island I'm on will only get like 3 foot high waves. I'm going to take a nap and I'll wake up right before the waves hit Oahu and let everyone know how it was.

Friends of my family lost about 60% of their house in Chile, just north of Santiago. They have a tent setup in the backyard already with wifi and skype (thats how we talked to them). As you can expect, our skype calls keep getting dropped quickly He told us that most of his city center is collapsed like in Haiti. The Big Picture. I was talking with someone who is from Chile and has family there and they heard reports of the tidal wave being 80 M (~262FT) high. No sources so I don't know if it's credible or not.

XM just came on like 20 mins ago and issued a Tsunami warning for HI.

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 015
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 2028Z 27 FEB 2010

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS...EXCEPT ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...
WASHINGTON...OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

... A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT ...

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

CHILE / PERU / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / ANTARCTICA / PANAMA /
COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / PITCAIRN / HONDURAS / EL SALVADOR /
GUATEMALA / FR. POLYNESIA / MEXICO / COOK ISLANDS / KIRIBATI /
KERMADEC IS / NIUE / NEW ZEALAND / TONGA / AMERICAN SAMOA /
SAMOA / JARVIS IS. / WALLIS-FUTUNA / TOKELAU / FIJI /
AUSTRALIA / HAWAII / PALMYRA IS. / TUVALU / VANUATU /
HOWLAND-BAKER / NEW CALEDONIA / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. /
NAURU / MARSHALL IS. / MIDWAY IS. / KOSRAE / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /
POHNPEI / WAKE IS. / CHUUK / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / INDONESIA /
N. MARIANAS / GUAM / YAP / BELAU / JAPAN / PHILIPPINES /
CHINESE TAIPEI

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 0634Z 27 FEB 2010
COORDINATES - 36.1 SOUTH 72.6 WEST
DEPTH - 55 KM
LOCATION - NEAR COAST OF CENTRAL CHILE
MAGNITUDE - 8.8

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL PER
------------------- ----- ------ ----- --------------- -----
LOTTIN PT NZ 37.6S 178.2E 1934Z 0.15M / 0.5FT 10MIN
RAROTONGA CK 21.2S 159.8W 1918Z 0.32M / 1.0FT 06MIN
CABO SAN LUCAS MX 22.9N 109.9W 1833Z 0.36M / 1.2FT 12MIN
DART TONGA 51426 23.0S 168.1W 1844Z 0.04M / 0.1FT 30MIN
HIVA OA MARQUESAS 9.8S 139.0W 1741Z 1.79M / 5.9FT 12MIN
PAPEETE TAHITI 17.5S 149.6W 1810Z 0.16M / 0.5FT 10MIN
NUKU HIVA MARQUESAS 8.9S 140.1W 1745Z 0.95M / 3.1FT 04MIN
MANZANILLO MX 19.1N 104.3W 1705Z 0.32M / 1.0FT 24MIN
DART MANZANILLO 434 16.0N 107.0W 1611Z 0.07M / 0.2FT 24MIN
ACAPULCO MX 16.8N 99.9W 1549Z 0.16M / 0.5FT 24MIN
RIKITEA PF 23.1S 134.9W 1559Z 0.15M / 0.5FT 22MIN
DART MARQUESAS 5140 8.5S 125.0W 1531Z 0.18M / 0.6FT 18MIN
QUEPOS CR 0.0N 9.4E 1416Z 0.24M / 0.8FT 52MIN
BALTRA GALAPAGS EC 0.4S 90.3W 1452Z 0.35M / 1.2FT 14MIN
EASTER CL 27.2S 109.5W 1205Z 0.35M / 1.1FT 52MIN
ANCUD CL 41.9S 73.8W 0838Z 0.62M / 2.0FT 84MIN
CALLAO LA-PUNTA PE 12.1S 77.2W 1029Z 0.36M / 1.2FT 30MIN
ARICA CL 18.5S 70.3W 1008Z 0.94M / 3.1FT 42MIN
IQUIQUE CL 20.2S 70.1W 0907Z 0.28M / 0.9FT 68MIN
ANTOFAGASTA CL 23.2S 70.4W 0941Z 0.49M / 1.6FT 52MIN
DART LIMA 32412 18.0S 86.4W 0941Z 0.24M / 0.8FT 36MIN
CALDERA CL 27.1S 70.8W 0843Z 0.45M / 1.5FT 20MIN
TALCAHUANO CL 36.7S 73.4W 0653Z 2.34M / 7.7FT 88MIN
COQUIMBO CL 30.0S 71.3W 0852Z 1.32M / 4.3FT 30MIN
CORRAL CL 39.9S 73.4W 0739Z 0.90M / 2.9FT 16MIN
SAN FELIX CL 26.3S 80.1W 0815Z 0.53M / 1.7FT 08MIN
VALPARAISO CL 33.0S 71.6W 0708Z 1.29M / 4.2FT 20MIN

LAT - LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)
LON - LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)
TIME - TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)
AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
IT IS ...NOT... CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.
VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).
PER - PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

EVALUATION

SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED
WHICH COULD CAUSE WIDESPREAD DAMAGE. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE
APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT. THIS CENTER WILL
CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT AND
SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND CAN VARY
SIGNIFICANTLY ALONG A COAST DUE TO LOCAL EFFECTS. THE TIME FROM
ONE TSUNAMI WAVE TO THE NEXT CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO AN HOUR, AND
THE THREAT CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AS MULTIPLE WAVES ARRIVE.

FOR ALL AREAS - WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS
AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT
OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME
THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN
CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL
CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE
ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.
THE TSUNAMI WARNING WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS
FOR ALASKA...BRITISH COLUMBIA...WASHINGTON...OREGON...CALIFORNIA.

If you want to watch it live.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hitsunami

Whoa. Thanks for the link to the feed, KrazyTaco.

Tsunami alarms went off about 7am on the Big Island. We were evacuated from our resort (near Kona) and headed a few blocks up towards higher ground. The line outside Denny's was crazy, as people had little to do but eat breakfast and wait for the waves. A lot of people have been lined up along walls to watch the water for several hours now (since at least 9:30am local). The wave was supposed to have hit Hilo about 20 minutes ago (11am), though I have not yet heard any news about its effect.

Starbucks is closed, but Borders is open and I'm using their electricity and wireless.

Taco's link is reporting no sign of a wave yet.

Our flight home is scheduled for tonight at 9:30 from Kona.

Update: The original estimate for 11:05 AM had a margin of error of about an hour in either direction.

Yup. Turned out to be nothing.

Glad to hear it!

Made for an interesting last day of vacation! Plans were to sleep in and spend a leisurely day at the pool. Instead, we got ousted from the resort by police order and spent the morning/early afternoon at Denny's & Borders. Definitely could have been worse. Looks like our flight tonight will even be on schedule.

Quintin_Stone,
I say you send the state a bill for your services as a tidal wave diverter. I'd say they could at least compensate you for your trip for having helped them out

The East coast of Japan has a Tsunami warning for today, luckily I'm on the West coast. As of right now the water level is about 2-3 feet above normal.

Edwin wrote:
I was talking with someone who is from Chile and has family there and they heard reports of the tidal wave being 80 M (~262FT) high. No sources so I don't know if it's credible or not.

Just for later reference, I don't think earthquakes will make waves that big. Even Krakatoa's gigantic eruption made waves of about 140 feet fairly close by, within a few hundred miles. They don't mention how big they were after traveling thousands of miles, but they'd have to have been much smaller by then.

About the only way I know to generate a 250-foot tsunami across a big area would be a monstrous asteroid impacting in the ocean... and it would probably take one classed in the ELE (Extinction Level Event) category to do it.

I Googled this just to be sure I was right about magnitudes, and there's one "local" tsunami that was about 1700 feet tall, but it was caused by a huge collapse into a small body of water (Lituya Bay in Alaska, in 1958), with the outgoing wave funneled into a fairly narrow channel. It had nowhere to go but up, and ended up being the largest wave ever recorded.

Malor wrote:
About the only way I know to generate a 250-foot tsunami across a big area would be a monstrous asteroid impacting in the ocean... and it would probably take one classed in the ELE (Extinction Level Event) category to do it.

There's a program that aired on the Discovery channel a couple of years ago called "Super Tsunami" which describes how a volcano in the Canary Islands will cause the mass destruction of the entire US east coast. Here are some of the details.

Malor wrote:
Edwin wrote:
I was talking with someone who is from Chile and has family there and they heard reports of the tidal wave being 80 M (~262FT) high. No sources so I don't know if it's credible or not.

Just for later reference, I don't think earthquakes will make waves that big. Even Krakatoa's gigantic eruption made waves of about 140 feet fairly close by, within a few hundred miles. They don't mention how big they were after traveling thousands of miles, but they'd have to have been much smaller by then.

About the only way I know to generate a 250-foot tsunami across a big area would be a monstrous asteroid impacting in the ocean... and it would probably take one classed in the ELE (Extinction Level Event) category to do it.

I Googled this just to be sure I was right about magnitudes, and there's one "local" tsunami that was about 1700 feet tall, but it was caused by a huge collapse into a small body of water (Lituya Bay in Alaska, in 1958), with the outgoing wave funneled into a fairly narrow channel. It had nowhere to go but up, and ended up being the largest wave ever recorded.

There was, however, a destructive wave from an earthquake in Chile circa 1960 that killed ~70 ppl in HI. That must of been signifigantly higher and stronger than what we just saw.

EDIT - Article.

on May 23, 1960, a tsunami destroyed much of downtown Hilo. Tsunami, or seismic sea waves, are generated in several ways, including by large submarine explosive eruptions, by landslides where rock slides into or beneath the sea surface, and by large earthquakes that displace rocks below sea level. The waves generated spread outward in all directions and travel across the oceans at speeds between 425 and 500 miles per hour. Most tsunami that cause widespread damage are produced by large earthquakes that cause fault movements of the sea floor, including the one in 1960. These giant waves wreak their havoc first near to, and then far from, the site of the original earthquake.

The earthquake that caused the 1960 tsunami occurred off the west coast of South America and had a magnitude between 8.25 and 8.5. The waves reached the Hawaiian Islands in about 15 hours. This tsunami caused little damage elsewhere in the islands, but the Hilo Bay area was hard hit. Sixty-one people lost their lives and about 540 homes and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged. The wave heights in Hilo Bay reached 35 feet compared to only 3-17 feet elsewhere. The water washed as far inland as Kilauea Avenue/Keawe Street through the entire present downtown area and to Kekuanaoa Street near Kilauea Avenue

IMAGE(http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/1994/94_05_20.gif)

So, they were right to be very concerned.

Oh, sure! It's just that this was pretty clearly a false rumor on its face, as a 250-foot waves just don't seem to happen from earthquakes, even big ones. Hawaii's coastlines would be denuded if that kind of monster swept over.

You don't need a 250-foot wave to do enormous damage, however. As your link says, the 35-footers in Hilo Bay were enough to wipe a good chunk of it out.

Malor wrote:
Oh, sure! It's just that this was pretty clearly a false rumor on its face, as a 250-foot waves just don't seem to happen from earthquakes, even big ones. Hawaii's coastlines would be denuded if that kind of monster swept over.

You don't need a 250-foot wave to do enormous damage, however. As your link says, the 35-footers in Hilo Bay were enough to wipe a good chunk of it out.

Yeah, we agree.

Hilo is pretty flat compared with the hilly areas along most of the rest of Big Island's coastline.

The tsunami left the Kona airport a little low on fuel, so flights going to the mainland had to stop over in Honolulu for refueling. Some genius at Kona decided to give our plane a little extra fuel so our refuel in Honolulu would go faster. He didn't seem to consider that doing so would put us over our weight limit for landing at Honolulu.

So our flight got delayed an extra hour+ while they booted off 5 unsuspecting travelers, removed their luggage, updated the paperwork, and then had to burn off some extra fuel even after that, by sitting on the tarmac and running the engines. That delay was on top of the hour delay to stop over in Honolulu.

Then Delta Airlines decided that the only route we could take home would add 14 hours to our original travel time. LA airport was swamped so finding flights was near impossible. Delta told us they'd put us on standby for a flight to Atlanta, which is just a jump from home. However when we got to the gate, we discovered that there are different kinds of standby. We were on the standby list in the system, but not "active" and did not show up on the gate display standby list and did not get selected for seats, despite being told we were first on the list.

So we don't get on that flight, we go to find out what other options and we get put on another standby, this one to Memphis. This time we verbally confirm we're "active" standby with the agent at the desk and we do indeed show up on the standby list. But for some reason, the people after us on the list get moved to the cleared list! My wife goes up to see what's going on and we discover a third kind of standby!! We were "active" and on the displays but not really active. Fortunately the agent at the desk has an attack of common sense and puts us on the plane ahead of the people who were after us on the list.

Naturally our luggage did not follow us through all of that. We expect it some time tomorrow morning.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
Hilo is pretty flat compared with the hilly areas along most of the rest of Big Island's coastline.

The tsunami left the Kona airport a little low on fuel, so flights going to the mainland had to stop over in Honolulu for refueling. Some genius at Kona decided to give our plane a little extra fuel so our refuel in Honolulu would go faster. He didn't seem to consider that doing so would put us over our weight limit for landing at Honolulu.

So our flight got delayed an extra hour+ while they booted off 5 unsuspecting travelers, removed their luggage, updated the paperwork, and then had to burn off some extra fuel even after that, by sitting on the tarmac and running the engines. That delay was on top of the hour delay to stop over in Honolulu.

Then Delta Airlines decided that the only route we could take home would add 14 hours to our original travel time. LA airport was swamped so finding flights was near impossible. Delta told us they'd put us on standby for a flight to Atlanta, which is just a jump from home. However when we got to the gate, we discovered that there are different kinds of standby. We were on the standby list in the system, but not "active" and did not show up on the gate display standby list and did not get selected for seats, despite being told we were first on the list.

So we don't get on that flight, we go to find out what other options and we get put on another standby, this one to Memphis. This time we verbally confirm we're "active" standby with the agent at the desk and we do indeed show up on the standby list. But for some reason, the people after us on the list get moved to the cleared list! My wife goes up to see what's going on and we discover a third kind of standby!! We were "active" and on the displays but not really active. Fortunately the agent at the desk has an attack of common sense and puts us on the plane ahead of the people who were after us on the list.

Naturally our luggage did not follow us through all of that. We expect it some time tomorrow morning.

That sucks dude. American airlines really sucks (not the company, but in general). International flying is so much better.

Do we know how deep the 1960 Chile earthquake was? I would imagine if it wasn't as deep as yesterday's earthquake, that it would make sense as to why the waves weren't as huge. Or if the epicenter was more in the water than on land in the 1960 quake?