Tsunami Update

| posted on March 11, 2011

Hawaii Brings Aloha for Japan
By Jeff Mull

All of the proceeds from the Aloha for Japan shirt are donated to the Red Cross // Photo:

When Honolulu’s Jun Jo watched the devastation of the Japanese tsunami live on CNN from his home on Oahu, he was struck by more than just the surreal power of Mother Nature. As the images of entire towns reduced to silt-covered fields of debris flashed across his eyes, his mind immediately turned to more than just the terror unfolding before him, but to the well being of dozens of his Japanese friends. Having been a lifelong patron to the bounty of surf and culture that Japan offered, Jun—who’s a professional surfer turned founder of the brand In4mation—had been traveling to the country for decades and had in fact just returned from a recent trip when the tsunami struck. And like most of us, as the sheer devastation of what had occurred became clear, Jun wanted to find an avenue to give back to a country that had given him so much. With the help of a few other Honolulu-based retailers known as GRP Home, the “Aloha for Japan” relief tee was born.

“So many of us traveled throughout Japan on tour back in the day and have so many good friends and memories of the country. To watch the tsunami hit…it was just surreal. I don’t really know how to describe it,” said Jun. “After watching all of the devastation, I really wanted to find a way to give back. So a group of us local retailers thought we could raise money by printing tees and donating all of the profits to the Hawaiian Red Cross fund for tsunami victims in Japan.”

The shirt, which reads “Aloha” with a Japanese rising sun representing the letter “O” have been flying off the shelves since they went on sale Monday morning at numerous locations throughout Oahu. “[We] sold out in the first five minutes that we opened,” In4mation warehouse clerk James Ferreira told a Honolulu NBC station. The original run of tees were set for 600, but according to reports, they’ve already received thousands of orders and have plans of printing more.

“To me, this is how Hawaii gives back. Aloha. It means we have your back and we’re here to help,” added Jun. “I think the amount of response we’ve had to the shirts really shows that Hawaii wants to give back.”

The Aloha for Japan relief shirt can be found at the following locations and are available online at

FITTED HAWAII 1438 Kona St. #B
Honolulu, HI 96814

BUTI-GROOVE HAWAII 500 Piikoi Street
Honolulu, HI 96814

Honolulu, HI 96814

BAREFOOT LEAGUE 880 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816

3/14 UPDATE:
Relief Efforts and Ways You Can Help

By Alexander Haro

Footage of the devastation in Japan is almost unbelievable. Buildings washing away in torrents of muddy water, massive ships flung far inland, coming to rest on their sides. Whole cities obliterated, and tens of thousands missing or dead. While the current confirmed death toll is hovering at just over a thousand, estimates for the number of dead from one of the hardest hit areas, the Miyagi Prefecture, are expected to be over 10,000. And that’s just one area. There have been reports that Honshu, Japan’s largest island, moved roughly eight feet to the east.

The ensuing tsunami reportedly rose to over 30 feet above sea level. It swept across the island, destroying almost everything. Fear of a nuclear crisis is rampant, as four of their power plants have reported damage, with the most urgent problem at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where a massive explosion lit up the sky for hours. Over 210,000 people have been evacuated from a 12-mile exclusion zone surrounding the area, for fear of radiation. Aftershocks are still occurring, with the largest measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale—big enough to cause major damage by itself. Japan’s central bank pumped $85.5 billion into the economy as their stock market values plunge, and preliminary estimates on damage are in the tens of billions. But the Japanese remain hopeful. At a press conference, Prime Minister Naota Kan told reporters that he was “convinced we can overcome the crisis.”

Help is pouring in from around the globe. South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States have all sent search and rescue teams. On top of that, France, Malaysia, Canada, Norway, Italy, and many others have offered their support. Even the war torn province of Kandahar has donated $50,000. There are ways the average citizen can help, as well.

You can text REDCROSS to 90999 if you would like to donate to the Red Cross. Each text provides $10 toward the Red Cross’s humanitarian efforts. They’ve also started a Facebook campaign to raise $25,000. It can be found here.

If you run a website, you can help out with relief efforts by embedding a code that helps drive donations. More instructions can be found here.

Apple has started an iTunes donation page where you can donate up to $200 dollars to the Red Cross.

Save the Children is a provider of humanitarian relief. They donate non-food items and shelter, as well as emergency health care.

Global Giving distributes donations to relief organizations and emergency services.

The International Medical Corps are in contact with the Japanese and other countries affected by the tsunami. They provide relief teams and supplies.

The Salvation Army is also providing assistance, and has been in Japan since 1985, and has allocated $75,000 to the relief effort.

If you have a first-hand account of any unusual ocean happenings following the devastating earthquake in Japan, post it to our comments section.

The ocean continued to surge and drain for hours today after the initial pulse. Mark Healey, on the North Shore, lending scale to the 10-minute-long cycles. Photos: Wilson

North Shore Spared From Tsunami
By Alex Wilson

We saw it on CNN, playing on the television over the bar at Haleiwa Joe’s: a creeping, burning mass of water and debris advancing over the Japanese landscape. The tsunami had been spawned by an 8.9 earthquake, the fourth largest ever recorded, the worst in Japan’s history. We were blown away by the footage of the wave, which seemed to have been shot from a helicopter, until it took out a car trying to escape ahead of it. People were dying.

Cell phones started to ring around the restaurant. “We’re probably in the pulse window, huh?” someone said. Then the civil defense sirens went off and confirmed the question.

I had landed on Oahu in the afternoon and been on the North Shore for maybe six hours. At around 10:30PM, I found myself stockpiling water and other supplies at Foodland. John Florence was there. So were Mark Healey and Marcus Hickman. I spent the night on the floor of Healey’s parents’ house above Pupukea. A lot of people slept in their cars in the street.

Currently, the damage on Oahu seems to be minimal, if existent at all. The ocean receded and exposed the reef at Diamond Head. A few floating docks were piled on top of each other in the Haleiwa harbor. The airport in Honolulu is still closed. Parts of Maui were hit with a more powerful surge, according to the news. Nothing like Japan, obviously.

I woke up at 5AM, a few hours after the tsunami was originally forecast to reach the Hawaiian chain. A nuclear power plant was burning on television, on Honshu, I think. It was quiet outside on the North Shore. I rolled over on the wood floor and felt unbelievably lucky that nothing had happened here. This morning I keep thinking about that car the surge took out on CNN, the lives lost in Japan, and the other people who are still waiting for the pulse to reach them.

Hawaii Exhales as Islands Spared from Tsunami
By Jeff Mull

After a sleepless night for many Hawaii residents, dawn broke to sighs of relief as the initial estimates from the tsunami spawned by the infamous Japanese earthquake appeared to have caused minimal damage and no injuries in the islands.

By 10 pm of last night, civil defense sirens blared off in the distance as police combed through neighborhoods near shorelines urging people to evacuate. By the time the tsunami made landfall in Hawaii at 3 am, much of the island looked like a ghost town.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is reporting that there has been limited damage to some harbors on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island as a result of the tsunami.

“The surges caused extensive damage to piers and boats at Keehi Small Boat Harbor near Sand Island,” the paper said. “The King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel got a foot of water in the lobby and canoes in the harbor were destroyed. Flooding was also reported in Kahului.”

On the North Shore, traffic snaked along Kamehameha Highway as residents who were evacuated waited for the all-clear sign to return home.

We’ll continue to update you from the ground here in Hawaii with developments as they become available.

Hawaii, California breathes a sigh of relief

Onlookers gathered at various Southern California beaches today hoping to see the tsunami.

Californians woke this morning to closed beaches and terrifying images of the deadly tsunami that struck Japan. But despite the wave’s ferocity across the Pacific, Hawaii and California experienced little or no effects.

Although beaches were closed all morning, a few surfers enjoyed some small clean waves at Trestles with record-low crowds. There were no reports of anyone actually surfing the Tsunami.

SURFER’s Managing Editor, Alex Wilson, who is on the North Shore of Oahu profiling Mark Healey said that he and Mark were up all night evacuating Mark’s home and heading for higher ground. Look out for an update from him later today.

In Southern California, the start of the Oakley Surf Shop Challenge was delayed until after the Tsunami warning had expired.

Massive Earthquake Hits Japan
By Alexander Haro

Last night, Japan was struck by the largest earthquake they’ve seen in over 300 years. The magnitude 8.9 quake caused widespread devastation, including the shutdown of a nuclear power station.  It spawned a massive tsunami, which slammed into Japan’s east coast, dragging boats, cars, and debris far inland.

A tsunami warning has been issued, with Russia, the entire west coast of the United States, and parts of British Columbia on alert. Parts of California and Oregon evacuated Friday morning, while marinas, beaches, and other low-lying areas face the same in British Columbia. Some of the biggest waves are expected to hit near Crescent City, California, according to the National Weather Service. The first of the waves hit the Hawaiian Islands before dawn this morning, although there are no reports of any major damage.

Numbers on the missing and dead are sketchy at best right now, and Google has launched an application to assist in locating people. The Person Finder for 2011 Japan Earthquake app allows people to get information about their loved ones. Those with information about someone’s whereabouts are able to log on and add it to the database.  Google also created a crisis center, including a map of the earthquake, bulletin boards, updates on blackouts, and links to emergency centers.

President Obama stated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is on alert, positioning Coast Guard cutters and aircraft crews to conduct response missions as soon as the conditions are safer.


  • Mike Gaudioso

    shits happening im scared

  • Dennis McClure

    Yahoo and AOL News websites have a picture of the perfect, possible 100 foot wave that appears to be rideable. It also appears that this size wave to hit Japan occurs only once every 1000 years. Looking at the dwellings in the foreground and the fact that this set of waves is breaking over 3 miles out from land, the size and perfection of these waves is amazing. I downloaded this picture if you missed it or can’t find it on the internet. Thanks, Dennis McClure 3/11/2011.

  • Kevin Richardson

    The book of Revelation is happening

  • MotherNature

    No, it’s not Revelations (fiction, by the way) It’s just me, and I am tired of being abused. So suck it!

    (Oh, and if it is Revelations, why did Japan do to deserve such a fate?)

  • jonesy

    Hey Kevin who wrote that by the way?

  • Brent

    Any info on status of Pago Pago – Pacific Samoa

  • Spencer Reynolds

    We were hit pretty hard in Brookings, Oregon and Crescent City California. The Brookings harbor has 10 million in damages, and I think Crescent City is worse. I watched a beach suck dry out to an offshore island and then fill back in in under two minutes. It was crazy.

  • Peter Pope Kahape

    It came first, like a buoy report normally does, reportinga tsunami in the waters off Japan. Nothing new, something that we sometimes get and it usually turns into a statement and nothing more for us to think about.

    Later into the day, the reports started coming in and Hawaii was put on a Tsunami Warning, and things began to ramp up into the evening. More reports, the county of Kauai began it’s Email & phone alerts, reminding folks on the Garden Island that we may have a major tsunami in the makings and need to make ready.

    Gas stations aroound the island became mobbed with customers wanting to fill there tanks. Markets, became a mad hatters chaos induced pushing and shoving
    with people buying up batterys and toilet paper,thinking that they were more important than anyone else, needing to get home to safety.

    Around 10:00 PM, the Alert Sirens began, sending an errie, wailing sound over the North Shore of Kauai’s residents. Visiting tourists, uprooting themselves from there vacation rentals and heading anywhere safe, then being told that the County had opened, scchool cafeterias for them and locals as well, to wait out their fate in safety. No cots, pillows or blankets, but a place for them to wait it out. At least they were provided a safe sanctuary and bathroom facilitys. On other parts of the island, reports were coming in that visitors had just moved into local community’s and were sleeping in there rented vehicles on streets.

    The sirens wailed every hour, again, bringing an errie feeling over the darkness of the Kilauea community. I worked at the elementry school, directing locals and visitors to the small elementary auditorium. Locals having gone through this before brought pillows and blankets to sleep upon. The visitors had no idea of what to bring with them.

    At day light, folks were stirring and moving about, waiting for the “all clear” from authoritys and eventually it came, and everyone staggered to there cars, all of them seeking a soft bed and some needed down time.

    I took off for Anini Beach to check out the beach road and surf. Partsof the road and sand and debris ove rit, most of the road hadn’t been touched by the surge.
    Turned around and headed for Hanalei Bay,where I surf and only 4 cars on the beach, yet more filtered down slowly, while driving upon the beach.

    We watched, as the purge began, sucking quickly out at the mouth of the Hanalei River,over the wide expansive sand bar that looked like swift moving rapids. The inside reef became exposed, then more of the reef, just inside of “Flat Rock” and the surfline, and then began to slow and then the surge began, to fill in the empty reef.

    I talked to Aukai Lee, who is the son of big wave legend, Sammy Lee and he said it was weird, being pushed and shoved around in the line up. He was the first out, and ripping these small waves apart, yet he could still feel the tugging and pushing while surfing a wave.

    Finally went home to get some sleep and returned later for sunset. the hanalei River continued to push out towards the open ocean, waves were breaking where they normally do, yet, the uneasy feeling still rumbled around me with thoughts over the last 24 hours.

  • chuck wilkes

    I can’t even fathom this event mother nature unleashed. I pray for all in Japan and others that were in earthquake Tsunami. That CNN video tells us how powerful our ocean is. Let’s just hope the nuclear reactors don’t melt down.


    I live two hours away from Japan’s earthquake affected areas.
    The Chiba. A wealth of waves.
    However, several surfers friend died.
    People are not yet clear.
    The damage is bigger every day.
    Of course, not surfing.
    are also higher gas running out. Electric stock has also decreased. The train line is dangerous. Not working. The road close to paralysis.
    But people are helping each other. Are doing well. Matches together. Dna is almost as if they are rubbed on.
    Rape is nothing.
    robbery is nothing.
    nothing violence.
    We support each other a good fit.
    We will be stand up again.
    i dont’ well english, so sorry

  • p b

    The you tube link above , I am sure there is a surfer coming in from the right hand side of the boat , you can see him in the white water , but I cant tell if he hits the boat or cuts across behind it , cant fine any better qulaity video to slow it down , I hope he made it !

  • p b
  • p b

    forget it , its a bird.

  • Dennis McClure

    The YouTube video is a bird surfing bird style, using the up-draft of the wind just in front of the on-coming wave. The same bird returns later in the video going in the opposite direction.

  • Josie D’Apice

    This message is for Dennis McClure. Dennis, I’m wondering if you are the son of Marge H. from Yokohama and from Pasadena, Ca? She is married to Kaz. If you are the same Dennis I remember, I have been looking for your family. Please let me know at the above email address. Also, since I was born and raised in Japan, I am interested in this wonderful tee. Josie