Matt & Jill went up the hill to escape the tsunami water


We have been wondering lately what to write a blog about. The obvious is to write about the prime location of our new oceanfront home. We scored most of our camping stuff at garage sales, and made our home on a beautiful beach amongst other travellers and local Hawaiians.

Then the ocean gave us something to write about. While reading our books in our tent our neighbours informed us that a tsunami is on its way from an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude near the Queen Charlotte Islands in Alaska. So we grabbed food and our stove and abandoned our tent. I must admit I was friggin scared with a slight tear that didn’t quite form. Others in the camp site were packing there tent with 2 and half hours before the first wave was expected to hit at 10.28pm.

After grabbing our stuff we head a 100m down the road to tell a hippie surfer we were chatting to an hour earlier. We then drove to our friends place less than 5min away. We broke into their house to call them as we had no mobile reception. They had tried to call us but we were out of range. We are happy that they know about the evacuation and invite us to join them at their friends house on higher ground.

So I’m writing this with 3 minutes to the expected time of the tsunami arrival.


It’s interesting now talking about it with our host (Dominic) and Christo & Mel that Dominic mentioned feeling a shake in his house. And at the same time I now realise that I felt a very small shake while I was sitting on our air mattress in our tent at 5.30pm but I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Also this morning I dreamt that we had a storm surge that reached our tent. So I currently feel reassured that nothing serious will happen.


It’s now 11.10pm and we are still safe on high ground. We hear promising news that no devastating effects have occurred so we are content sitting in the lounge room enjoying cheese and crackers.


We have survived the night with minimal sleep. At 3am I suddenly woke after dreaming a wave had hit and I woke Matt instantly and said, “can you hear water?” He responded “yes, it’s rain!” At the time there was some heavy rain and the thought of water was not one of the things I wanted to be experiencing there and then.


After we became aware that no damage had occurred overnight and that the tsunami alert had been lifted, we left Dominic’s house and went back to our camp site. People were already back resetting their tents while many others had not returned. Our tent is in one piece and the belongings we left behind still remained.

The biggest wave to hit was in Mauai at 2.5 foot. Some boats reported hitting the sand in the harbour but there was no damage.

I guess it’s always best to be prepared for such an event. The alert system was very proficient with automated phone calls, sirens and local media announcements. There was even a plane flying around the island with a siren blaring.

After recently spending time in Sri Lanka and getting a good understanding from the locals of the devastating effects of the 2004 tsunami, it’s reassuring to know that since then, effective international tsunami warning systems have been implemented.


So, we are now sitting at our table listening to the birds chirping and the roosters doing their thing. Since the animals seem to know when a tsunami is coming and head for the hills, we are reassured that we are fine with them surrounding us.


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5 Responses to Matt & Jill went up the hill to escape the tsunami water

  1. Aimee says:

    Wow how scary that must have been! glad it was just a precautionary evacuation and not a devastating one!

    • MattJill says:

      I’m equally glad. Neither of us had experienced anything like it. We never get excitement like that in perth. Matt was calm as always, a quality I continue to admire about him.

  2. Woah! Glad it all went well and no one got hurt. Loved the ‘real time’ report guys! Enjoy your beach-side home, looks beautiful 🙂

  3. Marita says:

    Whew!!! Must say I was very concerned when I got your email about the Tsunami coming. I wasn’t sure of the terrain of the island and if there was higher ground you could go to. John said he had spoken to you and the island had a mountain, so I was able to sleep that night. Very relieved to know that the tsunami fizzled out. Glad you remained cool Matt (like your dad in a crisis eh). I’m much more like you Jill!!! Well, another exciting adventure under your belts. How are you going to top this one!!! (oh no, forget I said that). Love you heaps, Mum

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