Earthquake Aftermath – One Week Later

Night Shot of Iolani Palace

Photo caption: Historic Iolani Palace is lit in this file photo that I shot in 2004.

It has been a complete week since we were hit by a destructive earthquake that was felt nearly statewide. Damage reports and estimates continue to sprial upward, especially for everyone on the Big Island. It is quite possible that after all the damage is tallied the total will surpass the $100 million mark.

Several significant structures and places suffered heavy damage on the Big island of Hawaii. These include the historic Hulihee Palace and the Mokuaikaua Church, both in Kailua Kona. Further north in Kohala, a historic old stone smokestack was completely destroyed by the earthquake. The more than 100 year old structure simply collapsed. Much of a 150 year old church in North Kohala also sustained heavy damage. The cost to repair it has been put at nearly $3 million on the high end.

Elsewhere on the Big Island, Kawaihae Harbor, a major freight transit port for West Hawaii sustained major damage to its piers. The state was lucky enough to repair one of the piers in an effort to get freight moving again instead of forcing ships to go into Hilo and trucking the freight around the island back to Kona. Still serious work and upgrades will have to be made to that harbor in order to bring it back to full capacity.

Two Big Island hospitals, several schools, roads and bridges were also damaged. It will cost taxpayers a lot of money to have all of these public facilities fixed. Hopefully with the President declaring Hawaii a disaster area, the funds will come in to not only fix public facilities but also many private homes and businesses that may have also suffered quake damage.

On Oahu it was reported that historic Iolani Palace in Downtown Honolulu’s Capitol District sustained some damage. Otherwise the biggest concern for Oahu residents have been the lack of electricity for most of last Sunday and the flow of timely information to the public shortly after the earthquake.

The Governor will be putting together a committee to study the communications problem and report on any solutions. A public hearing will be held tomorrow at the Hawaii State Capitol with the Public Utilities Commission and Hawaiian Electric to go over the power problems. The electric company is to issue a report before the end of the year.

1 Comment so far

  1. Laurie (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

    Don’t let FEMA treat it like they did

    south Louisiana – all of coastal Louisiana.

    They will play politics and block you at every turn.


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