Saturday, March 12, 2011

the tsunami hits Pacifica, CA

can i be off the hook for flaking on favorites friday? what a crazy day we had!

March 11th 2011

6:14 AM phone rings, it's Sean's teacher telling me that school was canceled because there was an earthquake in Japan and tsunami was headed our way. grrreat. i woke up nick and hopped on the internet since we don't have tv. i called my friend who lives closer to the water and she said that they were told to evacuate at 4 AM, they were all ready packed up and hanging out inland at Denny's. we find a map which shows that we are right on the evacuation border. we contemplate leaving. nick suggests driving to the top of the hill behind us to the church building.

7:30 AM another friend calls and offers her home to use. she's 5 minutes away on high ground. not to mention they just bought a trampoline and i knew my kids would have fun. they were out of school for the day and thought, why not? we have nothing better to do.

8:00 AM car is packed with kids, safe (with documents, money, guns), the cat meowing in her carrier. we head up.

8:08 AM tsunami begins (the swells last for hours). we were very lucky that the waves hit during low tide. we stand at the look out point and take some photos while kids play. we go on a hike. the kids play in the WWII bunker. we have continued views of the ocean, where i snap a few shots here and there.

9:30 AM back at friends house where we decide to bake while the kids play.

11:00 AM when the swells were possibly expected to be at their biggest. i go to the lookout point, shoot a few pictures of the waves (not too exciting)

1:00 PM things have died down. i head home (mostly for the cat's sake, she was growing sick of the car)

photos that i shot. notice how high the surf is for low tide. there is definitely something happening here. we were lucky. pacifica was completely safe. the hardest-hit place near us was santa cruz, where the harbor and boats suffered a lot of damage. (click on photos for larger image)

thoughts about Japan and friends

  • the tsunami's hit hardest where Nick served his mission, in Sendai. it's incredible to watch the video footage of our old stomping grounds being devastated.
  • friends from my mission are all accounted for and okay based on who i've heard from. one friend on facebook posted that he walked home from his office in Tokyo taking him 7 hours. he came home to his wife and family safe. :) family members of some friends are still missing. prayers would be much appreciated.
we altered our emergency preparedness plan based on the events of this day. i am reminded of the power that mother nature has over us. i mean wow a whole country has moved.

i slept well last night. grateful that i had a bed and a safe family.


flip flop mama said...

I'm glad it was low tide in CA. I think things could have been much worse if the tide was higher. The ocean looked a little more churned up down here, but nothing really happened that was noticeable. Plus we don't really have very many inlets. It's just a really big coastline so things are much more dispersed.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful pictures. We evacuated too - to the San Bruno MacDonald's for breakfast.

Jamilla said...

I am so glad to hear all is well with you and your family. I have been praying for those in japan. I even thought of you and nick. Keep us posted on the missing people.

Julie J. said...

I'm glad to read this. I've wondered what it was like for people in CA living near the coast. Glad to know you all had warning and stayed safe. We heard about Santa Cruz and Cresent City on the news. Peter has been trying to get in touch with friends from his mission too. So Scary. Sam saw the news the other night so I took him to our Stake humanitarian thing that happens every Monday, since he didn't have any school. I think it helped him feel less helpless. Glad you're all safe.