Monday, November 27, 2006

 

Yesterday's Earthquake & Tsunami Rumor



It began in the late afternoon or early evening--the phone calls alerting me of a pending earthquake and tsunami. The 'coconut wireless' of the islands spread the story of this imminent danger and warning to prepare for an upcoming earthquake and tsunami. I looked on the internet, but found nothing. I turned on the tv, but found nothing.

Later on in the evening, the television program I was watching was interrupted by scrolling messages reporting the earthquake/tsunami warnings were merely a rumor. In the meantime, so many people in the Islands had heard this rumor and believed it to be true that the nightly news showed people buying batteries, food, and emergency supplies at the grocery and convenience stores.

Today I looked on the earthquake reports and could find nothing to provoke such a rumor, so I'm dumbfounded about how the rumor began. Perhaps some important person on the Big Island made a prediction of an imminent quake, and then the rumor spread like wildfire through the coconut wireless? At this point, I can only speculate and marvel at the speed of rumors.

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