October 15, 2006: Earthquake in Hawaii!

At 7:07AM this morning, I was rudely awakened by what was later announced as a 6.6-magnitude earthquake that centered on the Kona side of the Big Island. I ‘m housesitting this beautiful mansion high atop the hills of Tantalus on Oahu, but am far from safe from the rumblings of one of the largest earthquakes to hit the islands in 23 years. Since it was so early, I was startled out of the errupting bed and braced myself in the doorway of the bathroom. When things settled down, I checked around the house to see the damage.

Not bad.

Just a few fallen picture frames and miscellaneous items on the ground. I spent the next 10-15 minutes straightening things out, until the next friggen quake (aftershock of 5.8) hit just 7 minutes later. With all the power out, I decided to just leave the again fallen items alone and go back to bed. To my dismay, I was rudely awaken again and again by aftershock after aftershock until like 10:30am, cursing at each one before falling back asleep.

Since my car was stuck in the garage, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I sunbathed a bit on the porch and then read the Sunday paper, cover-to-cover. As it got dark, I was hungry (couldn’t open the fridge) and started to run through possibilities. Finally, I said screw it and left the house to go for a walk before I went crazy with cabin fever. Here’s a photo I took of the view at one lookout point. Strage to see Diamond Head and the surrounding buildings without any lights eh?

October 15, 2006: Earthquake in Hawaii!

Since I was electricity-less for hours on end, I had to idea what was going on in the world. I was able to read news and check football scores on my phone during my walk, and before long, made it all the way to Wal-Mart on Keeaumoku. Dave called and thankfully picked me up to go grab a bite at Genki Sushi in Pearl City. Not the brightest thing in the world to eat raw fish after a long power outage, but we were friggen starving! 🙂

At about 10:30, the power in the Tantalus area finally came back up after being out since 7 in the morning. I was able to see the damage that was done to the home.

October 15, 2006: Earthquake in Hawaii!

Below are some hints for you future earthquake victims from your friends at the Oahu Civil Defense:

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WHAT TO EXPECT IN AN EARTHQUAKE

During an earthquake, the “solid” earth moves like the deck of a ship. The actual movement of the ground, however, is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most casualties result from partial or total building collapse, falling objects, debris and shattering glass. Earthquakes may also trigger landslides, cause fires, and generate tsunamis (seismic sea waves).

If you feel a strong earthquake that makes you grab on to something to keep upright, and you are located in a tsunami inundation area, head for high ground. Don’t wait for an announcement from Civil Defense. A locally generated tsunami leaves little time for warning. Act immediately!

The unique nature of the earthquake threat and potential disruption of life in Hawaii calls for pre- paredness actions at all levels…government, volunteer and private sector.

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BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE

Check your home for potential hazards at least annually.

  • Defective electrical wiring and leaky gas or in flexible connections are very dangerous in the event of an earthquake. Bolt down water heaters and gas appliances. Know where and how to shut off utilities at main switches. Contact your local utility company for instructions. Place large and heavy objects on lower shelves. Securely fasten shelves to walls. Brace or anchor high or top-heavy objects. Store breakables in low or closed cabinets. Anchor overhead lighting fixtures such as chandeliers.
  • Check for ceiling and foundation cracks and repair if needed.

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HAVE ON HAND…

  • A flashlight and battery operated radio in case power is cut off. A supply of drinking water and nonperishable foods which can be prepared without cooking.
  • A fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

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DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

First of all, stay calm. If you are inside, stay inside. If outdoors. stay there. In earthquakes, most injuries occur as people are entering or leaving buildings.If indoors, take cover under a heavy desk, table, bench, in a supported doorway or along an inside wall. Stay away from glass. Don’t use candles, matches or other open flame during or after the tremor because of possible gas leaks.

If in a moving car, pull over and stop as quickly as safety permits, but stay in the vehicle. Do not stop or park under or on an overpass or bridge. A car may sway violently on its springs, but it is a good place to stay until the shaking stops. When you drive on, watch for hazards created by the earthquake like fallen objects, downed electric wires or blocked roadways.

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AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE

  • Be prepared for aftershocks. They can cause more damage or topple weakened structures. Check for injuries. Turn on your radio or TV for emergency information from local authorities.
  • Check utilities. If leaks are detected, leave the building and don’t reenter until an official says it’s safe.

USE THE TELEPHONE ONLY IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. Listen to your radio for information.

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– Original info here: http://www.honolulu.gov/ocda/earth.htm.
– Contact the Oahu Civil Defense Agency at 523-4121 for more information.

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