Earthquakes this morning.

We felt two major ones here in Hana, on the easternmost tip of Maui about 60 miles north of the epicenter, which was across Alenuihaha Channel off the west coast of the Big Island. The larger one (reported around 6.6 magnitude) shook for what seemed a long time, half a minute or more as we jumped under door frames. We could feel the earth rolling underneath us, knocking a few things off the shelves, but causing no other damage that we can discern at this time. Then a smaller but still significant aftershock (5.8) could be felt a few minutes later, and a little while after that I felt another minor rumble.

The power went off here at the time of the first quake, but came back on before long. Hana is a very isolated community with sometimes less than reliable power, and I have heard that power is off elsewhere on Maui, so I'm not sure if we're running off the main grid or off a smaller local backup generator that kicks in when the grid goes down. And though there are reports of phone lines down elsewhere, phones and obviously the cable Internet are working here. And although cable TV is working, we are still not getting any signal from our local TV stations, apparently due to the power outages on O'ahu.

CNN has been streaming live coverage from KITV. The Star-Bulletin website has been down for a while, but the Advertiser is up and has breaking updates.

I also just wanted to note one comment I heard that is on-topic for this blog. Erik Von Ancken, a reporter from Florida who is vacationing on the Big Island, was reporting on CNN by phone, and said that he had "talked to my family back in the United States." Yes, people do think of Hawaii as another country.

Update 10:35 am: Just had another aftershock.

Update 11:23: I can't help noticing these... Contessa Brewer on MSNBC referred to her brother getting news from "the mainland, or the U.S. mainland, I should correct myself." Heh. Again, confused over exactly what the relationship is. I find these little slips that come out when people are speaking spontaneously rather revealing about how Hawaii is perceived, sometimes even on a subconscious level. Like they know it is supposed to be part of the U.S., but it just doesn't seem like it should be. Comments like this from tourists are common.

Update 11:56: KITV report via CNN: Maui Mayor Arakawa says Hana Highway is closed due to rock slides and bridge damage. I think I might head out and see if I can get any video or photos.

Update 4:38 pm: Well no pictures. Apparently the Hana Highway is blocked over on the Kaupo side, and one lane is closed (traffic is alternating) around Honomanu which is between Hana and Kahului. But I didn't go far enough either way to really see any significant damage. Waianapanapa State Park, which is just down the road from our house, is closed because apparently there was a collapse and the beach area is below some cliffs, so they're making sure it is stable and safe for the public. I also heard that some pieces fell off of the old smokestack in Kipahulu; one collapsed in Hawi, and this one is still standing but apparently sustained some damage.

Oh, and this has really spooked the cats! Pueo was out wandering around very gingerly a while ago, but the other three have been scarce all day, hiding under the bed or in closets.

Posted: Sun - October 15, 2006 at 09:42 AM    
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Published On: Oct 16, 2006 10:14 AM
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