Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tsunami Warning for the Pacific Coast of Mexico

This is the first thing I saw yesterday morning at 5:28 am when I logged on to my computer. It was in red letters on my Google home page, first thing I saw. I clicked on the red letters and was informed of the disaster that had happened in Japan and read how it was suppose to arrive on the Mexican coast at about 11 am. Since I am sitting at about sea level (I might be 2 feet above sea level) and am about 150 yards from the high tide line I was a bit alarmed....very alarmed. So I did what you do just before a disaster is to arrive, have a shower, don't want to be caught dirty and it might be my last hot shower if all gets washed away. As I stepped out I looked at the ocean for signs of disaster and it looked normal, surely there should be some signs of scariness.  After I was all prepared (showered) I kept surfing (haah) from site to site to get new and updated information. Meanwhile the village got roused out of bed by people knocking on doors at about 6am alerting neighbors and friends to be prepared to flee to higher ground. I was so glad I had gotten up early, it would have been frightening to wake up to someone at the door telling me a Tsunami was on the way. So I packed my emergency backpack, what do you pack when you are getting ready to flee? My passport, my cash that I had on hand, I looked around the house...humm, oh, a bottle of water, what else? Thats it, I zipped it up and placed it by the door. Ready to flee. My plan was to run to my friend Kathy's house here on the Island, she lives up on a hill. By now there is lots of traffic by my house, I think every household sent one member of the family to the beach to have a look and report back. Kids showed up with surf boards all hoping to surf the big one, but there was nothing to see.
They closed the port and all boats were told to come in, residents were told to stay of the beach, all beach restraunts closed, all tours to the Island were canceled, one ferry was closed, the other one was manned by police, the military arrived in big trucks, and schools were closed. The big white hotel on the beach (The Maria Coral) said they would be open for residents to seek refuge's a tall building) You get the idea....a lot of excitement. By 11 am most of us had already been informed by the news that if it came down the pacific coast we would be shielded by the Baja of California, the Baja has saved Mazatlan from disaster a few times already. At the most we would have some stronger than usual waves.....surfers were standing by with their surf boards. By 2:00 pm it was clear nothing was happening, the lifeguards even went home, and the military pulled out and I unpacked my backpack.....and then realized I hadn't even packed a camera or a change of underwear. The day went on as usual.
This morning I read in the paper that the ocean has rose about 2 cm and that some 2000 people from Mazatlan had fled to Concordia, up in the mountains. Apparently the same thing happened 47 years ago, people fled to the mountain and then nothing happened. Oh well, a false alarm is better than no alarm at all.

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