Monastery Twitter Updates for 2011-03-11

  • #Tsunami warning sirens are sounding here on #Kauai after huge earthquake in Japan. The monastery is safe on high ground. #
  • The monks are all right, hundreds of feet above sea level. #
  • Tsunami warning came 3 hours before wave, so our island had time to take precautions. #
  • The tsunami has passed and with Gurudeva's blessings we are well on Kauai. #

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Tsunami: All Is Well on Kauai

Though we have posted this news in brief on Twitter and Facebook, we realized we needed to also post it directly here on TAKA for those who do not follow the monastery in those more up-to-the-minute ways.

Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and the monks (and the monastery and its temples) are all okay after the tsunami that arrived on Kauai’s shores early this morning after a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan late last night. We are fortunate that the monastery is situated several miles inland and several hundred feet above sea level, so, at least for the next few hundred thousand years, we are well protected from any tsunamis that may hit the island.

Our beloved island is fortunate, and all Kauai residents are fortunate, that the waves ended up being so small compared to the 6.5-foot prediction: The gauge at Nawiliwili Harbor reported a rise of 2.1 feet and as far as we know there was no damage reported on our island. Little to no damage was reported on neighbor islands, most of which saw surges similar to the level of Kauai’s, though in one place as high as 7 feet.

Though it is possible to know the time of arrival of the waves with great precision, the size of the waves is pretty much impossible to predict with any accuracy. The islands benefit from a sophisticated early detection and warning system installed throughout the Pacific Ocean decades ago after a major tsunami disaster, and our county agencies have become experts at coordinating appropriate responses to tsunamis and the other natural disasters the occasionally strike the islands--hurricanes.

From what we understand, the evacuations of Kauai’s low-lying coastal areas went well last night, with everyone reaching refuge centers (established mostly at Kauai’s schools) located outside the flood zones well before the waves were predicted to arrive.

Jai Ganesha!

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