Tsunami in Rarotonga

daisy By daisy, 18th Mar 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/iww4x1qe/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>Cook Islands>Rarotonga & Around

Saturday 27th February 2010. We are caught up in a tsunami scare. We were holidaying on Rarotonga in The Cook islands when we heard about the earthquake in Chile, little did we know that this catastrophe would affect us.

Tsunami coming our way

My husband and I were on our way home to U.K after holidaying in New Zealand, We decided to spend a few days in Rarotonga to chill out and have a bit of R and R. It was the last day of our stay , we were woken in the early hours by a phone call from our family in the U.K saying that a Tsunami was heading our way. This was caused by a massive earthquake in Chile and was predicted to affect all the countries within the Pacific Basin. Experts were estimating that the waves could be up to 3.0 metres in height.

We then checked with the hotel to find out if there was cause for concern. They were quite relaxed, as they were confident that the coral reef surrounding Rarotonga would stop the Tsunami waves. However, they did think that it was a good idea to move us from our ground floor beach front room to a room on the first floor. We felt quite relieved that the situation was not as serious as we first thought.

My husband did insist that we packed all the cases ready for a hasty getaway, how right he was. At 7 o clock, 1.5 hour before the Tsunami was expected the Receptionist called to say the Government had called for a mass evcuation of everyone within 1 km of the beach. We joined the other guests at the hotel entrance and we were all put into taxis and taken to some accomodation in the hills.Everyone was calm and we patiently waited for the waves to arrive. Rarotonga is a small island, you can drive all the way round in an hour, so from our vantage point we had a clear view of the beach. An army plane was flying overhead continuously, monitoring the progress of the waves, we think

Disaster averted

At aprox 8.30.am we saw the Tsunami wave approaching, thankfully it dissipated at the coral reef. We were later told it was only 6 inches by the time it reached the shore. After a couple of hours we were allowed to return to the hotel, Even though the big wave did not materialise we were very grateful to get the all clear as Rarotonga would have been decimated if the waves were anything like those predicted.The whole evacuation was handled in a very professional manner and made us feel very secure. We later discovered that our family and friends back home had been watching the unfolding events on CNN and were much more concerned that we had been..

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Tsunami Earthquake In Chile

Meet the author

author avatar daisy
Retired Nursery teacher. Wife, mother & nana. Love travel, gardening, drinking coffee, eating cake. Of which I will be writing later.

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author avatar Sam
19th Mar 2010 (#)

Great write-up! You get up to some adventures ;)

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