BHS student experiences tsunami firsthand

Senior Vinnie Menth returned safely home after a typical family vacation to Hawaii turned into a frightening experience.

On Friday, March 11, alarms started sounding on Maui as a warning for an approaching tsunami.

The Menth family left for Maui on March 7 and had what seemed to be a normal fun-filled week hanging by the beach and touring the island. Beautiful weather turned fierce Saturday morning as winds picked up and waves crashed over 500 feet onto shores.

“The alarms went off on the island around three Saturday morning.” said Menth, “Every news channel was sending out warnings telling people to be on higher ground, buy water, and stay inside.”

Although Vinnie recalls the warnings somewhat like a tornado warning in Minnesota, his sister and mother would beg to differ.

“As me and my dad pulled the chairs off the hotel deck, my mom was crying hysterically and my sister was freaking out watching the news.” said Menth.

The first island to get hit was Oahu which was also hit the worst out of all the Hawaiian Islands. The tsunami seemed to bounce off the islands from one to another. Luckily the Menth family was on the eastern side of Maui which was not as affected by the tsunami as the western parts.

“I felt bad for the locals because many of them live on the side of Maui that got hit hard. They had little warning of the storm and owned most of the boats that the waves crashed into,” said Menth.

On Sunday the storm had passed leaving marine life washed up on shore, boats ruined, the airport shut down, and all tourist attractions closed.

“It was as if the whole island had just shut down,” Menth said.

By Monday, everything was somewhat back to normal with business and the airport re-opened just in time to fly home to Buffalo, Minnesota on Tuesday.

Although it was a scary experience, the Menth family is happy to have made it home safely.

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Articles written by Journalism are stories that have been written by members of the the Journalism classes at Buffalo High School. Follow The Hoofprint on Twitter to get more articles by the Journalism class

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