Tsunami - Burgess Family A-OK
29 September 2009 | Neiafu Harbor, Vava'u, Tonga
Zen and the Burgess Family are 100% fine after experiencing a tsunami today. There was a mid-ocean earthquake that occurred near American Samoa this morning. At 8:15a Tonga time a VHF radio security-security alert was given to all boats in the Tongan waters. The tsunami would be affecting the Kingdom of Tonga for the next 2 hours while reverberating waves came through the area. Neiafu Harbor is 100 feet deep. There are 50 sailboats on moorings and a few on anchor. During the tsunami we saw the water depth go from 100 feet to 83 feet and then back up to 100 feet in the period of about 1 hour. In other outer islands there was radio chatter announcing fishing boats tossed onto land, underwater reefs being temporarily exposed, and currents rushing in and out. Overall, it seems Tonga has come through OK. Sadly, American Samoa does not report the same, cars are out to sea, school buses turned over, and people are missing. Fortunately, all our cruising friends in those areas have emailed their health and well-being. Tommy, Cammi, Cole and I appreciate all of you who have emailed, radio'd and called to check on our safety. Who ever said that 'Pacific' means 'peaceful'??