Michael Medved


So I was just talking to my family in Seattle as Shabbat ended here in Honolulu, catching up on the day when suddenly, I heard the familiar screech of the tsunami sirens, blasting out in the warm night. I was home alone, my friends and hosts out at a movie I deemed too tense for my taste.

I didn't know about any earthquake, but of course during Shabbat I'm off the news-loop, so my first thought was it was some kind of test or malfunction of the siren system. But no--the blaring, ear-piercing scream persisted.

I turned on local TV and was shocked to hear urgent warnings about an expected wall of water, and as I write this, the first wave blast is due in less than an hour. as I type, I hear warnings on the radio: turn off your computers. Turn off the lights and get out. The lines at gas stations are now long, as scared residents all seek to top off their tanks; supermarkets are busy with purchases of emergency supplies. On the radio: take your prescription medicines; take 5-7 days' food, including pet food, battery powered flashlights, eyeglasses, important papers in waterproof containers. Refuge centers are opening. Mike Buck, a local radio host I happen to know, is urging listeners to help neighbors out of their homes. Anyone lower than 4 floors in a beach-area hotel has to move upward.

Results in Hawaii of the March, 2011 tsunami

Traffic in my area is jammed; reports two blocks away say it's moving at 3 mph. I packed my suitcase, but everyone here is just not worked up, having done this before in March of 2011 after the Japan quake--I was visiting at the time, joining my friends in filling the car and driving up the hill to the home of a neighbor.

There we watched on TV when the waves came in--cameras at various beach-points showed the whole process, the surf withdrawing especially far, a frightening pause, and then the tsunami surges rolling in, one long, deep wave after the other. A tsunami can last for hours; it's not the TV terror of a huge, hungry surf-type wave that devours all in its path in one gulp.

Probably the most suspenseful part is now, the last minutes before the expected impact. Tsunamis don't hit a single side of the islands--instead, they wrap around and hit all the shores, meaning the uncertainty affects all. So, rather than keep typing (and using the battery on my laptop), I suppose it would be prudent to leave now... with prayers (and expectations) that this tsunami, too, will be great for story-telling but minimal in its result. 


Note: Diane's prayers were answered - the fearsome tsumani did only very minor damage in Hawaii.

Michael Medved

Michael Medved's daily syndicated radio talk show reaches one of the largest national audiences every weekday between 3 and 6 PM, Eastern Time. Michael Medved is the author of eleven books, including the bestsellers What Really Happened to the Class of '65?, Hollywood vs. America, Right Turns, The Ten Big Lies About America and 5 Big Lies About American Business
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Michael Medved's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.