As you may have learned, there was a 6.6 magnitude earthquake off the northwestern coast of the Big Island today. That's about 160 miles southeast of Honolulu. There've been no injuries or serious damage reported on Oahu, but there will undoubtedly be a few reports of structural damage both on this island and on Maui as well as Hawai'i. The USGS puts it at 10 miles or so offshore from Waikoloa, a resort town on the west coast of the Big Island. There have apparently been a slew of aftershocks (32, says the USGS site), but none large enough to notice over here.
It shook me out of bed at 7:07am this morning. I woke up to see the bedside lamp tottering (it didn't fall), realized what was going on, and reached for some clothes. By the time I'd gotten my shorts and shirt on it was over. I went out to the kitchen to see whether Mom had felt it (yep) and to turn on the coffee maker. About 4 minutes later the power went out island-wide, and it stayed out until 1:20pm. Fortunately, the coffee machine had managed to make about 4 cups before the power quit, so we had that to alleviate the trauma.
With no power, there was a scramble to find out how big the quake was, and that became a test of what radio station was well-enough prepared. Turns out there was only one that managed to get on the air and stay there: KSSK/K59. They broke into a taped program at about 7:30 with the one in-studio person they had on duty; shortly thereafter their weekday morning drive-time team showed up (Perry and Price, for those of you familiar with Honolulu radio). The station became the clearinghouse for all news from all points of the state; they had incoming telephone calls from the Governor (who was in a hotel in Waikoloa; the television in her room fell off the armoire it was on), State Civil Defense, the local utility companies, and just plain folks reporting from towns and locations on the roads.
I've lived here 28 years; I've gotten accustomed to volcanic and seismic activity over on the Big Island, but this is the first time I've ever felt a quake while on Oahu. I used to live in L.A., so I know what they're like, but it was a heck of a shock to be awakened by one.
All's well in this house; we were going to start worrying about the fridge and freezer contents, but no longer. Thanks for all the e-mails and comments.Posted by Linkmeister at October 15, 2006 03:03 PM | TrackBack