Sunday, October 15, 2006

Earthquake in Hawaii

I live in Hawaii but am in Southern California until next Saturday. After worshiping with my Daughter #1 at Bel Air Presbyterian Church this morning we each found a message on our cell phones from my wonderful wife. The messages told us that there had been two major earthquakes (felt by my wife in Central Oahu) and that all electricity was out on Oahu and only one radio station (KSSK) was on the air.

The first quake, now determined to have been 6.6 on the Richter scale, hit about ten miles off the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.

By good fortune (or by God's grace and mercy) the quake took place at an early hour (a little after 7:00 am) on a Sunday morning. Although two hotels and the major hospital in Kailua/Kona were damaged and evacuated and two of the main roads on that island were closed there were no reports of either deaths or injuries.

The web page for Hawaii television station KITV posted some photos taken by folks on the Big Island. Here are two that you will probably not see on your CNN or FoxNews channels.

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This one (taken by Andrea Gomes) shows what looks like major structural damage to the famous Hulihe'e Palace in Kailua/Kona

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And this one (taken by Victor Yadon) shows a screen door with a hole in it where the family cat made a frantic exit during the quake!

Meanwhile, electricity is not expected to return to Central Oahu by tonight. With the weather being hot and humid with flash-flood warnings across the state and nearly 4 inches of rain around my home during the past two days my wife is finding it hard to laugh.

So far, however, even though a state of emergency has been declared for the state by Governor Linda Lingle, the earthquake does not appear to have produced a disaster . . . simply a colossal and very, very expensive inconvenience for a whole lot of people who have nowhere else to go.