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A View From East Honolulu

As Hawaiians wait for the tsunami heading towards their shores, they are nervous, but not panicked, according to a Honolulu resident.

Jim Hubbard, 53, was awoken this morning by a tsunami alarm in his East Honolulu home shortly after 6:00 AM. The sound, as he described it to me, sounded like an air raid or tornado siren -- a loud, high-pitched whine audible in the background while he was on the phone.

"When I heard the siren, I ran to my living room and looked out the window to see if it was there, and I thought 'oh, no wave!'" The sirens are tested every month right before noon. The last time he could remember hearing the sirens in an emergency situation was during Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

The stores in his neighborhood closed before he had a chance to get extra supplies. He reported seeing many people getting groceries and gas before the stores closed at about 9:00 AM.

Hubbard lives with his wife Janelle, and sons Shane, 17, and Brian, 15 one half mile from the beach, which faces south east. This area is expected to be one of the hardest hit.

Police and Civil Defense patrols have gone around with bullhorns, telling people in low-lying areas and beachfront property to evacuate. While he is in a safe area -- he estimates that he is five stories above the beach -- roads leading out of his neighborhoods are in a low-lying peninsula, and may be damaged by the waves.

Hubbard said his worst fear is that the port and airport will be damaged, cutting off food supplies to the island. The port is located on the south side of the island. Water has been shut off to ensure that no contamination occurs.

The Island of Oahu, home to Honolulu, is located west of the Big Island of Hawaii, which is expected to be the first island hit.

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