With tsunami warnings yesterday, Susan White and her fiance prepared for the worst.
The Long Island expats, who live in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, not far from Honolulu, went to the market to stock up on water and canned goods and soup and matches.
"On the news, they're making it out to be really big," said White, 27, a teacher's aide originally from Levittown.
The couple waited, monitoring news reports, but barely anything came of the dire warnings.
Most popular Nation stories
The quake in Chile, which struck early yesterday some 7,000 miles southeast of Hawaii, prompted warnings not only for the island state, but the entire West Coast of the United States and other Pacific nations.
Back on the U.S. mainland, family and friends of loved ones in Hawaii faced jammed phone lines - but were able to reach out through text messages and Facebook.
Meanwhile, fears of the quake left tourists stuck while they waited to see how bad the tsunami would be.
At the Sheraton Hotel on Maui's Kaanapali Beach, warning sirens sounded early in the morning and guests below the third floor were moved to higher levels, said Barbara Schuler, a Newsday editor vacationing in Hawaii.
But when tsunami waves washed across Hawaii, little damage was reported, The Associated Press said, and things started to return to normal last night. Still, guests were told to stay out of the ocean, Schuler said.
"I was feeling really guilty up until this morning, with you guys having another snowstorm," Schuler said. "Now, I'm not feeling so guilty since I had my own little drama."
With Carrie Mason-Draffen and Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
COMPLETE COVERAGE: Chile earthquake and its aftermath