JC Native Witnesses Tsunami Hit Hawaii

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 28, 2010 at 6:52 PM EDT

Oahu, Hawaii (WBNG Binghamton) An earthquake from Chile sent a Tsunami rushing toward American shores.

But experts say Hawaii has dodged the bullet, after the waves left minimal damage.

Action News Reporter Rachael Hidalgo talked with a Johnson City native living in Hawaii, who says Saturday's Tsunami threat was still a scare.

After the massive earthquake in Chile, several South Pacific islands were expected to receive massive waves crushing the shores.

36-year-old Mary Deubler from Johnson City has lived on the island of Oahu for the past 6 months.

She says she woken at 5 am to the sound of sirens, but she's glad she was alerted with enough time to get prepared.

"They didn't even predict the tsunami to hit Oahu until 11:30 AM so as far as ample notice, they really warned the people of the island," she says.

Deubler says she quickly stocked up on supplies and gas, and then took her car to the top of a bridge, 800 feet above sea level.

The waves that washed ashore Hawaii were about 6 feet in height.

And it appears damage was minimal.

"Pretty much nothing happened and everybody's really glad that you know, there wasn't any catastrophes," she said.

Reports say tens of thousands were evacuated to higher ground, but Deubler says some people didn't listen, and stayed in the beach or even in the water.

"There were people still on the water. There were people out in their sailboats ready to ride out the waves, and they had the helicopters yelling at the people on the beach to evacuate," she says.

Deubler says she's just glad everyone is safe.

And says most people on the island of Oahu didn't really seem phased by the Tsunami scare.

"They're kind of used to it, which is kind of odd," says Deubler.

Scientists in the Tsunami watch center defend the warnings, saying better safe than sorry.

Deubler is a 1991 graduate of Johnson City High school.

Parts of the Pacific rim still face a threat from a potential Tsunami.

Japan is bracing for massive waves to hit its coast.

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