Tsunami vs. Unconferenz

Let's face it the tsunami won. When I went to sleep on Friday night I heard about the 8.8 earthquake in Chile and the potential for a tsunami. When I woke on Saturday morning about 5:30am I got messages from Roxanne Darling and Todd Ogasawara asking if the Unconferenz 2010 was still on. My initial response was, "Yes, it is still on." There was a tsunami warning in Sept 2009 from an 7.9 earthquake off California that resulted in a 6in wave and I wasn't about to let this one change my plans. As I started to call around I noticed that the seriousness of this tsunami threat was considerably more than the one in Sept. Roads were being closed, businesses and shopping centers were shut down, sirens were being sounded, news coverage went into full time mode, people were making runs on gas and food and the clincher for me was that Kapiolani Community College was ceasing their operations. Without a facility, the decision to postpone the Unconferenz was a relatively easy one. The remaining Saturday was spend watching the news coverage of the tsunami. As natural disasters go, a tsunami is like a spectator sport, at least ones like these that have a long lead time and happen in the middle of the day. For the most part its a normal day with full electrical power, Internet access and phone service. I even went for a run along Pearl Harbor around 9am. Everyone is watching and reporting what they see. As a result there are some very interesting views of the tsunami as it unfolded on the social media aware. Here are a few of my favorites; Roxanne Darling posted this on her blog: Hawaii Tsunami Proves Social Media Power Again: Information is a Tonic. It's a great sampling of new and traditional media views of the tsunami as a news event. Most of us were glued to the television watching the various news casts. KGMB, the CBS affiliate had full time coverage as did the other stations. In the case of KGMB, they had a camera pointed at Hilo Bay with a great vantage point of the ocean. With a clear view you could tell when the ocean tides changed. In this series of photos taken by Ryan Ozawa, you can clearly see the current of the water as it recedes and then flows back in. If the tsunami created a flooding this would provide a perfect view of it. Luckily that didn't happen. From this view you could see how the repetition of the tsunami waves would enter the bay then recede, an awesome sight to see. Local blogger John Garcia created a site that streamed the hashtag #hitsunami found at http://hitsunami.info/. This was a realtime view of twitter posts aggregated in one place. Granted you could get something similar by searching the hashtag on Twitter but you would not have gotten the Ustream.tv feed or the Civil Defense updates. During the tsunami warning, TV cameras were pointed at Waikiki beach. Everyone was cleared from the waters and the beach area. In spite of this there is always the oddball who disregards the warnings and goes into the water anyway. This guy was caught on camera wading out into the surf appearing to taunt the ocean with his arms. This has now been immortalized in a Facebook fan page called: The idiot who was swimming in Waikiki during the tsunami warning. Obviously this is just a small sampling of the various views of the events as they occurred on Saturday. Finally, I must include this image of the energy created by the earthquake. This NOAA image captures it for me and validates the concern expressed and actions taken by the Tsunami Warning Center and the Civil Defense.

3 thoughts on “Tsunami vs. Unconferenz”

  1. Glad to hear that KCC made it “easy” for you Burt. I am also glad you posted that image from NOAA – it was one of my favorite discoveries (via @judico) as the events were unfolding.

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