March 29, 2010

Tsunami.

I was working at the Atherton YMCA when the news broke. A 8.8 magnitude earthquake stuck Chile, and created a tsunami which put the entire pacific on alert.

CNN wasn’t really helping the situation at all. Reporting that there would be 40ft waves, and even at one point saying that waves would be 40 meters. “Holy Tall Tales Batman! 40 meters!” 40 meters is, of couse, ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FEET. get the facts right CNN…

Thankfully, Hawaii dodged a bullet, and no major wave came and slapped the living crap out of the islands. I wouldn’t really have liked to be floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean a top my bed.

I digress, back to the chain of events that day.

It was 2:00am, and Getty Images had sent me an email asking if I was up, and available for coverage. Getty has been a good client in the past with Obama Duty, the Eddie Aikau, and other stuff, so I obliged them.

I hadn’t had anysleep, and didnt really feel like shooting while dopped up on a 5 hour energy, so i told my editor, “I need some sleep! will head out in an hour or so…i have been up since 7am the previous day!”

So i went home. popped the batteries on the charger, cleared my cards, and caught an hour of sleep. I ran out the door, and started to look for people buying supplies, and/or freaking out about the Tsunami.

Drove through Waikiki, and didn’t find much. Streets were emptier than usual, but at 5am everywhere is practically deserted. I drove to Times Supermarket on Waialae. What luck! They weren’t open, but had a line forming outside!

Okay. so it wasn’t really a line…more like a crowd. Thank god it wasn’t a mob. Yikes!

HONOLULU - FEBRUARY 27: Shoppers line up in front of a grocery store as they wait for it to open Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, in Honolulu. Hawaii residents are stocking up on food and emergency supplies Saturday for a potentially damaging tsunami, after a massive earthquake off Chile sent waves across the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
More Photos after the break
 So as the morning progressed, I noticed that people started to drive a bit more recklessly, with out caution or regard for others, and tensions started to run a bit higher…

So as i was filing images to Getty, Shawn Thew from EPA (European PressPhoto Agency) called and asked if I was available for an assignment. I told him, sadly no, but I did know a guy who would be able to shoot if they needed.

Enter Austin Larson. Austin, who shall now be referred to as “Austo” or “Austo-D” is a really good friend of mines. Not to mention a stellar photographer.

So I passed Austo’s info to Shawn and after EPA hired him for the day, I picked up Austo, and we headed to Waikiki to scope out what was going on.

HONOLULU - FEBRUARY 27: Teresa Burge and Bill Bodnar of Calgary, Alberta, Canada walk along Waikiki Beach, Saturday February 27, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The State of Hawaii is under a tsunami warning after an 8.8 earthquake struck Chile earlier today. Many residents are loading up on gas and emergency supplies due to the warning. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
We bumped into some familiar and new faces…

HONOLULU - FEBRUARY 27: Honolulu Star-Bulletin Staff Photographer Cindy Ellen Russell and Reporter Gary T. Kubota walk along Waikiki Beach, Saturday February 27, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The State of Hawaii is under a tsunami warning after an 8.8 earthquake struck Chile earlier today. Many residents are loading up on gas and emergency supplies due to the warning. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
So after spending time in Waikiki, and letting my meter expire way past the 10 minutes i fed into it, we headed for Round Top Drive above Makiki. There were some real characters up there. People making makeshift tents, people sleeping UNDER their cars, even people sitting on the roofs of their cars having a “beverage” or four…

HONOLULU - FEBRUARY 27:  Matt Martin sleeps under a truck as his friends (L to R) Tokiko Torres, Justin Fukushima, and Michele' Solesk sit and stand on the trucks roof.  The State of Hawaii is under a tsunami warning after an 8.8 earthquake struck Chile earlier today. Many residents flocked to higher grounds to escape the impending tidal wave.  (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
When all was said and done, Hawaii really dodged a bullet. 60 foot waves were reported somewhere off shore. yikes!

I updated my sportsshooter profile with images from the day and was featured on the Top Breaking News. again! Cool!

Austo-D kicked ass. he got two photos to run consecutively in the @NYTimes. check out the www.nytimes.com links here and here.

1 comment:

Jay Metzger said...

Kent, I remember this day. I couldnt figure out if I should leave my condo and brave the Waikiki scene or stay and catch the waves breaking over the buildings....lol glad i stayed home and shot from there.

Shoots!