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CNN BREAKING NEWS
6.6. Quake Hits Hawaii
Aired October 15, 2006 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Carol Lin at the CNN center in Atlanta. You're watching our CNN affiliate KITV in Hawaii, broadcasting real time information from the earthquake zone. In case you're just tuning in, there was a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck just off the coast of the big island of Hawaii. It is a situation where they say there are injured walking into local hospitals right now. Most of it is lacerations and broken bones.
Nobody had died, no reports of any deaths. But officials out there are saying to people, look. If you don't have to use the phone, if you don't have to get in the car and go somewhere, please keep the phone lines clear, keep the roads clear. It's the only way emergency vehicles can get around. There are damaged roads as you've been watching on KITV and they're still trying to get to people who may need help.
In the meantime, this is one of the most seismically active areas in the world and our meteorologist, Rob Marciano has been standing by at the CNN weather center. Rob, you had a chance to talk with a geologist about what happened today. What have you learned?
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I talked to a geologist at the University of Hawaii, what better source than that and we're actually working the phones to try to get even more experts on the horn, because this is not only a bad day for Hawaiians, but whether you like it or not, it's fairly fascinating to see the way mother nature works. And one thing about earthquakes underneath and around the Hawaiian islands, most of them are triggered by magma that is flowing in the plumbing so to speak of these active volcanoes.
Because of that, because of the depth, because of the size of these earthquakes, they don't generally generate tsunamis all that often. You typically need an earthquake of at least 7.0. It's got to be a fairly shallow depth, it has to literally move the Earth, like the one that did in Indonesia, a couple years back.
What makes this earthquake different, according to this geologist out of the University of Hawaii, it's one of the rare ones, where -- and he's pretty confident on this, because it happened away from where the active volcanoes are, on the Big Island. So it happened in the northwest side of the island as opposed to where most of the active volcanoes are in the center and eastern part of the island. And it happened at a depth of about 20 miles.
So because of that, geologists are thinking that this was one of the rarer ones that doesn't indicate magma activity, or magma flowing underneath the volcanoes here. They describe it as kind of a flexural (ph) bend of the Earth's crust, due to the weight of the islands themselves. As the volcanoes continue to erupt, as they continue to build the Hawaiian Islands, as they continue to add mass, that adds weight.
And every once in a while, like if you were to put a bunch of rocks on top of plywood, that plywood bends and it will adjust itself and sometimes snap a little bit. And that's what they think this earthquake is the result of, because it was so deep. And because it's away from the volcanoes themselves.
What he also wanted to point out is that doesn't mean that it won't shake up some of the magma, you know, close -- in the volcanoes that are close by. But the main point that the geologists wanted to make, this is likely not due to volcanic activity, but more so due to the weight of the lava, the magma that's been flowing over the years and centuries and building up over the Hawaiians, and the weight of the islands actually bending the Earth's crust 20 or so miles below. So fascinating stuff there.
The other point of course that we've been making all afternoon, Carol, is that the Tsunami Warning Center has not issued a tsunami warning. One, because of historical data. And two, because this particular earthquake not shallow enough and not big enough to actually move the earth and move water. And because of that, no local tsunamis, and folks who live on the West Coast of the U.S. or West Coast of South America, Central America need not worry about that.
LIN: Rob, I'm wondering there is an active volcano, Mauna Laia, it's a big tourist attraction where people go out to see the red lava flowing had at nighttime. Does this earthquake then increase the chance that volcano will become even more active, perhaps even more dangerous?
MARCIANO: It's good question. It's one question I posed to the geologist and he didn't have a good answer for me, except he can't guarantee that. Any time you move the Earth, it shakes things up. And if that movement of the Earth is near something as dangerous and as fragile as magma flowing underneath these volcanoes and the plumbing, is what he described it as, can't guarantee that won't aggravate the active volcanoes on the island.
He didn't say that it would happen, but you can't guarantee it wouldn't. We have to monitor the situation.
MARCIANO: Since we last talked, there has not been another aftershock. We are now up to 29 aftershocks, including the 5.8 quake that happened seven minutes after the 6.6 quake. Most of the aftershocks have been around the 3.0 range, which is barely noticeable. But one of the stronger ones happened in the last hour and a half, and that that was a 4.4. So that was a pretty strong one. The situation still is pretty tenuous and there could be more aftershocks in the 4.0, maybe 5.0 range.
LIN: That's a good shaker. That's when you feel, the pictures are shaking on the walls, you can feel your house vibrating, and you're diving under the table.
MARCIANO: And enough to shake the Earth above the ground, and we saw the pictures from our affiliates and from our eye reporters, there's been rockslides and landslides.
MARCIANO: I suppose some of the good news here, is that notice how dry the Earth is there. The Big Island has seen about average rainfall the past couple of months. And that is different from the other islands, notably Oahu and Honolulu has seen upwards of 19-plus inches of rainfall since September 1st.
LIN: Yes. This is on the Big Island, that we're looking at right here. And the one, the dusty one was on the island of Kauai. This is the one we're looking at on the Big Island.
MARCIOANO: Nonetheless, that looks pretty dry to me. Doesn't it, Carol?
LIN: It sure does.
MARCIANO: So I suppose there's some good news in that this quake didn't happen closer to Oahu itself, but probably didn't because there's bigger volcanoes, there's more lava and magma buildup over the Big Island. And probably the weight of that, according to this geologist, is probably what made that Earth snap.
LIN: Yes, you know, 95 percent of the homes are without power in the Oahu area because of this earthquake.
MARCIANO: That's amazing to me.
LIN: Yes. The airport is half way shut down. Flights can come in, but they don't have enough electricity generated to get airplanes out. So tourists are standing by.
MARCIANO: You know what's amazing to me, the USGS has a little link on their website that has a kind of a, "what it felt like" map.
MARCIANO: Yeah, and we'll try to get this posted graphically, maybe in our next tip to show you. What it shows is the folks, on the northwest corner of the Big Island -- they felt it, obviously, and there was damage. But the other islands, Maui and Oahu, felt it, yes, but according to the map on their website, only felt it a little bit. So to see the power go out island-wide is really amazing to me.
LIN: It is. And they're scrambling there to get try to get plane flights out. Tourists trying to leave, to get back to the mainland, part of the United States.
We're taking a look at some more of the damage that came in, this on the Big Island of Hawaii, as you see the signature black lava rock there, and the roadway, half way blocked off. Emergency officials are saying, please, do not get on the roads out there.
And for people around the mainland, who are wondering how their loved ones are doing, whether they're safe, whether the hotel's responded in some way helpful for the tourists.
I just spoke with one of our CNN affiliate reporters, vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii, and he's in this huge tourist complex out there, where there are several hotels located in one complex. He said there is no loud speaker system, that for a moment, as people felt the Earth shake, and they saw the windows kind of vibrating, they started to see cracks in some of the stucco.
People were near panic, because they didn't know what to do. There was no loud speaker system. But no reports of any deaths in this 6.6 magnitude quake, which happened very early in the morning. It happened a little after 7:00 in the morning local time. Hawaii is about six hours earlier than us here, on the East Coast, so right now, it's a little after 1:00 in the afternoon, as emergency crews are fanning out, they are trying to attend to the injured.
The injured are coming into hospitals, but in one case, Kona Community Hospital was being evacuated because they did not feel that the building was stable enough. So there is a state of emergency declared on the Island of Hawaii, as emergency crews are trying to get out there, trying to get power back up, trying to make sure the injured are attended to.
Stay with us right here on CNN, because we are the only network that is bringing you real-time, live information from the island of Hawaii.
Let's return now to our CNN affiliate, KITV.
(BEGIN AFFILIATE FEED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Power is now back on for most of the island and the stores and businesses are open for business. So it appears, at this time, that Kauai suffered just minor damage. Of course, Denby Fawcett was just on the Island of Kauai, just returned here this morning. She said she didn't see anything except a traffic light that had been out near -- I believe Kapaa (ph), she said, or somewhere in the area. But just minor damage on the Island of Kauai.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now, Justin Fujioka joining us with the latest on that earthquake.
JUSTIN FUJIOKA, METEOROLOGIST, KITV: The latest on that earthquake; we haven't seen any aftershocks in the past couple of hours, actually since about noontime. So that's a good sign here. But I can tell you, basically this is what you see here, is all the earthquakes that have happened in Hawaii, in the general area where the in the general area where the earthquake did occur.
Since main shock of 6.6 at 7:07 this morning, 5.8 at 7:14 and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven -- eight of magnitude 3.0 or higher, and of course we had that 4.4 at 10:35 this morning. And once again, probably nothing to do with the volcano. It's on the opposite side of the island.
We go to the weather graphics, the earthquake centered just off to the north and west of the island, just north of Kailua-Kona, right around Wikalua (ph) Village, so probably the strongest shaking statewide was within that resort area, from Puako down to say just north of the Kaohola (ph) Airport.
And you can see, this is the second quake, 5.8, 7:14 this morning, 12 miles southwest of Havi, and yes we did have that third quake that did occurred a short while after that south of Havi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're calling this three separate earthquake, right? These are not aftershocks.
FUJIOKA: The first quake of 6.6 was the main shock, 5.8 was probably an aftershock, of that quake. But that's a strong aftershock.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, right.
FUJIOKA: Compared to a normal quake, it is kind of like a twin quaker. You have a 6.6, 5.8. You got to remember, just one point on the Richter scale or on the magnitude scale is 10 to 100 times increase. It is actually 10 times increase with .1.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right?
FUJIOKA: And 100 times increase with one full point, so we're talking about a fairly strong earthquake. We had a lot of shakers in the past couple of months. And those have been in the general 3- to 4- point range. So, yes, that's the reason why we felt it so strong.
The last earthquake, 1975, November 29, in (AUDIO GAP) at 7 point (AUDIO GAP). strongest (AUDIO GAO) century. That one having to do with the volcano, having to do with the landslide out there on the Kalapana (ph) area, collapsing down a good couple of feet, up to 12 feet sinking into the water. And of course that's why a tsunami was generated way in quake. Thankfully, this quake a bit smaller and this quake not generating a destructive tsunami.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're talking about some of the weather situation regarding the flash flood warning, watch now. It's a watch.
FUJIOKA: We were under a warning until about 7 o'clock. Thankfully a lot of that system has been dropping the rain here overnight for Kauai and Oahu is starting to fall apart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
FUJIOKA: So, at least the weather situation is looking up, but of course we need to have the weather clear up, so we can get a better assessment of all the damage that's out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason I asked you, the mayor from Maui said the weather is starting to get --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's starting to get --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's getting bad there, right?
FUJIOKA: Here on Oahu, we're starting to clear up. The whole general storm system is falling apart. It is moving from west to east, so yes we got it here overnight, and it is slowly progressing toward Maui Konti (ph) at this hour, but you've got to remember that overall the system is falling apart. Maui probably won't see as heavy rain as we saw in the overnight hours.
That's good news there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Justin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to go back down to the newsroom. Pamela Young is standing by live there -- Pam.
PAMELA YOUNG, NEWS ANCHOR, KITV: Hi, I have Tom Fratanato (ph), from Wai Punalai (ph), as you know, all Big Island police officers are on duty right now. The retired police officers are on standby, and Tom is one of those.
Now, you have reports that there is no water in the Lapahoi-hoi (ph) area?
TOM FRATANATO (ph), RETIRED HAWAII POLICE OFFICER: Yeah, in Wai- Hai (ph), that's just about a mile north of Lapahoi-hoi (ph) town, the gulch, which is the Lapahoi-hoi (ph) gulch, the landslide took out the water lines, which supply Waipunalai (ph), Malka (ph) and Waipunalai (ph) Makai, the camps down in Makai.
YONG: Now, how many residents are we talking about?
FRATANATO (ph): That's about 500 residents.
YOUNG: Where are you going for water?
FRATANATO (ph): The fire station in Lopahoi-hoi (ph).
YOUNG: Is that the only resource?
FRATANATO: That we know of right now, correct.
YOUNG: Now, you were talking about his concern about the gulches?
FRATANATO (ph): Yes, the gulches are really unstable right now, and it's a really good idea that Mayor Kim is advising people to stay off the roads. Right after the first earthquake that occurred, I drove down to the Lopahoi-hoi (ph) gulch which was totally covered with debris, large, large rocks and dirt -- you name it. But there's a local contractor, a heavy equipment operator, his name is Louis Nobrega (ph), who actually did a good service to the community by removing most of that debris off the roadway. YOUNG: OK. Now, is all of the water in the area supplied by this line, or do people have their individual systems?
FRATANATO (ph): There are only a few residents in the area that have water catchment tanks. The majority of the people who live in this area are supplied by county water lines.
YOUNG: Now, is it possible that their systems have been compromised because of the earthquake?
FRATANATO (ph): Yes, they are compromised. Some of their systems are compromised.
YOUNG: Now, as a police officer, on the Big Island, you've encountered many earthquakes. What are you advising people about this one, since it seems to be so different from the others?
FRATANATO (ph): If you have to travel, only travel in emergency, of course. Stay away from the gulches. The gulches are very unstable. There's been times when we've been driving through those gulches when there isn't an earthquake, and the ground is so unstable where large boulders were just falling on the ground by themselves. So just stay away from the gulches.
There's a report of a small bridge that's north of us, Paiawilow (ph), that roadway is closed. You can't go north from Lapaihoi-hoi (ph), you have to just turn around. So, it's best just to stay at home. If you need water, go to the fire station, get water. They're allowing us to fill up containers at the fire station.
YOUNG: Those who do have their own catchment systems are they being advised to boil water?
FRATANATO (ph): Say again, please?
YOUNG: Those with individual catchment systems are they advised to boil their water?
FRATANATO (ph): No, the catchment systems are self-contained, so they all have water filters on the house before the water comes into the house. It's all filtered.
YOUNG: There's some concern because of the bluff going down at Lapahoi-hoi, that may be related to a shelf that's offshore, but you say that's not necessarily the case?
FRATANATO (ph): No, not to my knowledge, no. This is, if you look at Lopahoi-hoi (ph) from the highway, it's all cliffs, probably 300 foot high so any cliff or embankment is going to be unstable.
YOUNG: OK, thank you. Tom Fratanato (ph) from Waipunalai (ph).
FRATANATO (ph): Thank you.
(END AFFILIATE FEED) LIN: All right. You are watching continuing coverage right here on CNN, with our affiliate in Hawaii, KITV, of the aftermath of a 6.6 magnitude earthquake, which struck off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, 7 o'clock local time out there in the morning. Hawaii is -- it's about 1 o'clock in the afternoon, a little after, there right now as they're dealing with the aftermath of this earthquake. Trying to find the injured, trying to keep the roads cleared, dealing with landslides, as well as some of the injured, now arriving at local area hospitals.
Coming up after this quick break, I'll be talking about a fire chief, who is standing by at the Hilo Emergency Operations Center, that's on the west side of the Big Island. They have felt the effects of this massive earthquake. I'll be talking to him about what is he dealing with and what the people of Hawaii are dealing with right now. We'll be right back.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN BREAKING NEWS.
LIN: Welcome back to the CNN Center. I'm Carol Lin.
And we are reporting on this developing story of a major earthquake in Hawaii. It struck at 7 o'clock, a little after 7 o'clock local time out there. It is about 1:20 in the afternoon in Hawaii.
And right now on the telephone with me I have Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira, he is at the Hilo Emergency Operations Center right now.
Sir, can you tell me what is the biggest problem that you're dealing with right now?
DARRYL OLIVIERA, FIRE CHIEF, HAWAII CO. FIRE DEPT. (via phone): Right now, we're still trying to assess damage and make a determination as far as what type of infrastructure has been affected, as well as how we can better correct problems to get the public better served, with services getting into the areas, as well as any special needs they may have.
LIN: Sir, people across the country are watching CNN's coverage right now and people are worried about loved ones who may be traveling there, who are staying there. Can you be as specific as you can be, what is the kind of damage that you're seeing? What types of injuries are your crews encountering?
OLIVIERA: Well, fortunately, at the present, or to the present time, we haven't recorded any injuries or casualties related to the earthquake. What we do have is a lot of structural damage, in particular with the infrastructure. There are roads that are still closed with either debris, or even damage to some of the bridges along some of the highways. So those are all being assessed. And efforts are being made to correct some of those problems.
We also have utilities that are out of service. We have a number of communities without power and water. So that's probability the most significant part of this, as well as the damage to any homes or commercial structures that are out there.
As I said, fortunately, as far as I am aware of, we have not had any casualties or injuries related to the earthquake.
LIN: If there are injured, sir -- I mean from a tourists' point of view, if you're coming to your resort from say the Kona Airport or Hilo's Airport, it looks like there's one main highway that rims the Big Island. If portions of that highway are damaged, but people are injured, and they need to be transported, do you have options, are there people potentially trapped?
OLIVIERA: We actually do have options. One is the fire department has in its inventory two helicopters which could be utilized to move or extricate and transport victims to medical facilities. We also have here, at the Emergency Operations Center, representatives from the military, which have those assets also available to us.
Presently, because we have road access to just about every community, there hasn't been a need to mobilize any of the air services or helicopter service to move patients presently.
LIN: That's good news.
OLIVIERA: Yeah. We have service still being provided as far as emergency medical services and police and fire.
LIN: Since power's out, phone service is spotty now. How are you finding out about whether people are injured, or not? And have you been able to check with all the major resorts, and if you have, are you pretty sure that the tourists who are staying there are OK?
OLIVIERA: Well, what's fortunate I think for us here at the Emergency Operation Center, here in Hilo, is if there is a good relationship with the resorts, as well as with the tourists industry, so we have representatives here from agencies that maintain communications with the resorts, as well as throughout the business communities and can keep us informed as to what's happening out there, with regards to damage.
But as far as I'm aware of, our emergency 911 communications system has not been affected, so should someone need help, or be in a predicament, and looking for assistance, dialing 911 is still the primary way the calls are coming in. We haven't had interruption of that service.
LIN: You've had aftershocks in the magnitude of 5.0, or greater. Your sense as to whether there is danger still ahead throughout the afternoon, and into the night. Because of these aftershocks, there are buildings that could be damaged, but they could be deadly, in the next major aftershock?
OLIVIERA: Yeah, we continue, as you said, we continue to experience aftershocks. And if anyone at their residence or in a commercial business, whether it be a resort, is questioning the safety and security or integrity of their building, there are shelters opened up island-wide, that can provide disaster relief for those wishing to seek shelter outside of their own residence, or where they're staying at now as far as a resort goes.
LIN: Do you know how many people the shelters could accommodate?
OLIVIERA: I could not tell you offhand. But we do have, like I say, a number of shelters open up in the primary impact areas, which would be in the west Hawaii district, each of which has been set up to accommodate mass casualty or mass disaster-type of fallout.
LIN: All right. But, Chief, you're saying that has not -- that scenario, there's no indication that it's going to be that bad?
OLIVIERA: Not at this time, no. We're still trying to get a good assessment done on the damage. The calls that do come in from the community regarding individual structural damage we are working with them and getting personnel out there to assess and assist in the assessment.
LIN: All right, Chief, is there anything you would ask of family or friends here on the mainland that they can do to help? And what of the people of Hawaii? Is there anything specific that emergency response is asking of them as well?
OLIVIERA: Sure. I think as you had from previous interview with one of the police officers is obviously limiting driving, and getting out in the community. If you don't need to be out and about, stay home, stay off the roads, because we do have debris out there that needs to be cleaned up, as well as utility poles and utility infrastructure that's damaged. So people don't need to be on the road, we would highly advise that they don't do so.
The other is that, because there has been damage to the power and communication systems, just asking for people to be patient with that. And understand that each one of these utilities has a capacity that can be easily inundated or overcome by the flooding of calls, for example, with the telephone system.
So if they're having difficulty reaching loved ones here in Hawaii, just be patient, because the system tends to get overwhelmed if everyone is trying to call at the same time looking for family or friends. But the system is working. We do have land line communication. Our cellular system seems to have been affected, initially, but we do have that back up and running, presently.
LIN: All right. Good news there. Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira, appreciate your time. He's standing by at the Hilo Emergency Operations Center. We are going to take a quick break. But we have more news, continuing coverage of the massive earthquake that struck Hawaii early this morning. We'll be right back.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN BREAKING NEWS. LIN: In the aftermath of a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Hawaii, the picture is still -- well, still somewhat uncertain. Emergency crews still don't have a full picture of the amount of damage from this earthquake, or the number of injured.
But right now, they are saying that so far nobody has died after this earthquake struck, a little after 7 o'clock in the morning, local time. It is now almost 1:30 in the afternoon in Hawaii. And we want to rejoin our CNN affiliate KITV, as we are the only network to bring you live continuous coverage out of the earthquake zone.
(BEGIN AFFILIATE FEED)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...the Kahe (ph) Power Plant on the leeward side, and our power plant in Honolulu, as well as our partners in the Kaplan (ph) Industrial Park. Again, as these units come online, it will take awhile, because the warm-up period with a lot of metal that has to be warmed up, it's going to take awhile. But we're getting there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, thank you very much, Jose. We go back to our newsroom, Pamela Young is there -- Pamela.
YOUNG: Phone call here, we have Jim Kawaikawa (ph) from the USGS. Is he at the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park.
Jim, what is the update there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we had those two earthquakes in the morning and you've probably already reported on. We continue to get aftershocks. This side of the island is pretty calm, the east side here at the Volcano Observatory, and that's about all I can tell you.
YOUNG: Now, the aftershocks are located more on the Kona side?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, the first two earthquakes occurred on the northwest part of the island, northwest of Kobaihai (ph), was the second one. And the first one was near Kiahola Bay (ph). All on the northwest side, just offshore. And then the aftershocks have clustered in that area as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're both -- they two independent earthquakes, possibly.
YOUNG: Do we have any magnitudes on the aftershocks?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The largest one so far last time I looked was a 4.2 that occurred about 10:30 this morning, 10:35.
YOUNG: How is this different from other earthquakes that the big island residents are so used to experiencing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well we haven't had any earthquakes larger than a 4.8 in this particular area since we've been monitoring earthquakes since 1960 or so. So I'm sure a lot of those North Kona(ph) guys got an interesting introduction to earthquakes they weren't expecting.
YOUNG: Now we've heard so many theories from big island residents that it's shelf activity, that it's Mona Kaya(ph). Any idea of where this might have generated?
U.M: Not really. Without that historical background, you know, the previous earthquakes have been pretty small, fours, up to 4.8, and so this is kind of new territory for us. We have to really look over the data and see what it means.
YOUNG: And how long will that take?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh gosh, well first we'll have to get internet connectivity back.
YOUNG: So you're experiencing the same power outages that we are, where you are located right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have power almost all the way through but for some reason we lost contact with the outer world through the internet about an hour ago.
YOUNG: And who are you waiting word from to get more information about this particular earthquake?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not waiting for anybody. We don't run a 24-7 operation, except instrumentally and so folks will come back in tomorrow and start to work this data up. We got some information from the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden Colorado, and we actually, they use our data to get this information, you know, we'll continue to dialogue through the week, just try to figure it out.
YOUNG: Has there been any indication so far that this has affected lava flow?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was my primary concern. We've checked all of our instruments and it doesn't look like it affected anything.
YOUNG: Nor shelf activity?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nope. As far as we can tell, there was an over flight of just a couple of hours ago with the National Park Service and as far as we can tell, everything is sort of humming along as usual.
YOUNG: Ok great. Thank you, Jim (INAUDIBLE) from the USGS. Ok, back to you guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok, thank you Pam. We want to get you up to speed with the latest from the Honolulu International Airport, their office standing by their live via telephone, Darryl?
YOUNG: We lost him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok we lost Daryl Hoffa. Let's bring in Justin Fujioka, we're talking about weather, we talked about some of the rain happening over Maui, right?
JUSTIN FUJIOKA: Yeah, basically the earthquake the big story today but weather has, probably would have been the big story in the words of science today, if it weren't for the earthquakes this morning. Let's take a look at our satellite imagery here. You can see that storm system moving in from the northwest, this is over the past 24 hours. You see the last few frames, things starting to fall apart there, indicating that this storm is slowly starting to fall apart. We still have that flash flood watch through tomorrow morning for Kauai, Oahu as well as the all islands of Maui County. Conditions are still favorable -- or conducive for flash flooding. Take precautions now to protect life and property and be prepared to take quick action in case heavy rain falls or a warning is issued.
And here's a look at Doppler radar, a wild morning here on the island of Oahu. Lots of heavy shower activity, a few thunderstorms as well. You can see creeping over to Maui County, and that's why things starting to get a bit more gloomy there. But for the most part, you can see just like satellite imagery, that storm is slowly starting to fall apart. Kauai, the one island fairly dry out there today, you can see most of that moisture has moved off to the west before you woke up, moved off to the east before most of you woke up this morning.
And here on Oahu, we did start off once again, very wild out there, widespread moisture all across the island and things started to clear up here right around 9:00, 10:00 this morning and right now, most of the island is fairly dry, except for the extreme southwestern portion or (INAUDIBLE) as well as parts of (INAUDIBLE). And you can see here Maui County starting to creep in that moisture from the north and west, and you too will probably experience some scattered showers.
They're probably not as heavy as what Oahu saw earlier today and that should continue probably for the next six hours or so. The big island, surprisingly dry all day long, so that's good news for you folks dealing with damage assessment there, no rain to speak of on the big island throughout the past 24 hours. So good news for them there, as far as the storm, we'll continue to watch it and we'll continue to watch it fall apart hopefully in the next 12 to 24 hours.
LIN: All right. That's some of the severe weather that the Hawaiian Islands are seeing in the aftermath of this big 6.6 earthquake. Rob Marciano, our very own meteorologist, standing by here at the weather center. Rob, you were warning us of possible flooding and severe weather that's coming their way.
MARCIANO: Their local meteorologist pretty much gave you good background information on what they've been dealing with and what they're going through right now. Rainfall, any substantial amount of rainfall this time of year is -- to have it go days on end is pretty rare and it certainly would be the big news if not weather story today, if they didn't have these earthquakes.
Here is the radar from the CNN weather center. You see a heavy band of rain now moving across Oahu and falling apart just a little bit. It will make its way over Maui. It likely won't spread too much rain over the big island. The big island pretty much climatologically speaking is split into two climate zones. The east side typically sees quite a bit of rain from the easterly trades and the west side doesn't see quite as much rainfall.
As far as the earthquake itself and what we're dealing with, what we have dealt with today and what we were concerned with when this first happened, one, obviously the damage. And we've seen that in pictures from our affiliates and our iReporters, two, Tsunamis. And pretty much right away, the tsunami warning center said there would not be any tsunami generated from this, and they gathered that, they make that forecast so to speak from historical information.
This particular region not really known to generate tsunamis themselves, unless that side of the island or side of a volcano actually sluffs off into the ocean. It's not that big of an earthquake to generate a tsunami, typically you got to have them 7.0 or greater and it was pretty deep, it was about 20 miles deep. And what makes that interesting according to a geologist I spoke to about an hour ago out of the University of Hawaii is, he thinks it's not associated with magma flowing underneath active volcanoes.
Let's go to Google Earth and show you this raw map a little bit closer up of the big island. The earthquake itself happened right about here, where most of the volcanoes, the active volcanoes they're over on this side of the island. So with the earthquake happening there, away from the active volcanoes, what this, what geologists out of the University of Hawaii are thinking, this is probably due to the weight of the island, as it's built over the centuries, from these volcanoes, pressing down on the earth's crust, and flexural bent is the way he described it to me.
A pretty rare type of earthquake around the Hawaii area, and if you listen to the other gentleman from the USGS talking to our affiliate, he was surprised to see something of this magnitude come from this part of the world or this part of Hawaii. The greatest measurement that we've had there since they've been keeping records was 4.8, so to get a 6.6 on that side of the island away from active volcanoes is a little bit alarming and I'm sure it's piqued the interest to say the least of seismologists and geologists in and around the Hawaii area.
But good news here, Carol, no tsunami, we do have flash flood watches out for the islands with the exception of the big islands, so that's good news, because the earth obviously loose there, we don't want more rain to loosen it up even further. So we'll watch the weather as hopefully this front begins to fall apart. It looks like it's doing that. Rain should begin to lighten up here in the next 12 to 24 hours. It may very well even miss the big island entirely but the forecast officially is to bring some rain showers tonight over the center of this earthquake. Carol?
LIN: All right, Rob. And in the meantime the airports are going to be dealing with a backlog of passengers as they try to get out. We've got several different situations going in Maui, Oahu, as well as the big island. We're going to take a quick break and we're going to update all of you who are either planning on traveling from the mainland or you're in Hawaii and you're trying to figure out what's going to happen next, can you get out of there. We'll be right back.
LIN: Good afternoon. I'm Carol Lin at the CNN center. Actually it is evening now on the east coast. It is early afternoon in Hawaii, where emergency response teams are fanning out, trying to find the injured, trying to assess the stability of the local hotels and houses, any residents that may have been affected by this 6.6 earthquake, which struck very early in the morning in Hawaii, a little after 7:00 in the morning.
The Big Island now is under a state of emergency, and one big island resident was said to say that the neighborhood, her neighborhood looks like a war zone. But we do have a report from the U.S. Pacific Command that says that no reports of damage to U.S. military installations in the region.
In the meantime, travelers who are trying to get out of Hawaii may be having a hard time. Maui's airport did suffer some damage, but we don't have the extent of that damage. In Oahu, the Honolulu International Airport doesn't have enough electricity, didn't have any electricity as of 10:30 in the morning local time. So it didn't allow computers to print tickets or anybody to check in travelers.
But the big island of Hawaii it appears that the airports are open, but there may be delays, because of still some spotted power outages. We have been able to offer you continuous live coverage of the situation on the ground through our affiliate in Hawaii, KITV. Let's listen in.
ROREE OEHLMAN, VOLUNTEER, HAMAKUA HEALTH CENTER: ... toilet bowls flying everywhere. My house looks like a bomb hit it. We went immediately to our neighbors, our elderly neighbors, shut off water, capped off pipes that were leaking and because we are plumbing contractors as well, my husband is, our phone's been ringing off the hook and obviously we're not able to do that while we're up here. But yeah it's pretty bad over here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, what happens tonight to the people in the parking lot, what are your plans for the future?
OEHLMAN: Well I personally don't have any plans. Romel De La Cruz and Susan Hunter are taking care of that situation. For -- right now for the immediate time, the patients are being moved into the old (INAUDIBLE) hospital facility that has been made into the North Hawaii Education and Research Center. And it has air conditioning, it has bathroom facilities and it has water, and it's just an incredible blessing that that was finished in time to be able to help this.
Sarah Gomes is the operating director for the four studies credit has graciously turned it over to -- as a facility to house these patients until they can be taken care of. There's no way they're going to be able to get back into this facility in any reasonable amount of time. The building's a mess. The (INAUDIBLE) is literally laying on the side, the whole front end. All of the water sprinkler system and ceiling is completely broken apart. And when they tried to turn it on again it just floods the ceilings. There's water everywhere. There's probably about three or four inches of water on the ground in the facility when we got here. And there's garbage everywhere that has been blown off the walls or out of gas or whatever. Whew! It's bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's been quite a morning for you up there I'm sure.
OEHLMAN: Quite a morning. Well I was kind of laughing, because I was thinking about these poor people and they're like oh, yeah poor us, we don't have gas. So what, stay home. You know, go help your health care facilities or whatever, because we really, there's a lot going on over here, so, you know, give us your blessings and we've got a great community and Romel and Susan are doing a great job. And if anybody has family over here in this facility, just let them know that we're taking really good care and giving them all the love we can and making sure that they're safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, thank you very much, Roree, calling from Hamakua.
OEHLMAN: You're welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people throughout the state dealing with their own set of difficulties, particularly bad on the big island where a state of emergency has been declared, a number of buildings there have been affected quite tremendously by this earthquake, sustaining a lot of damage. We're going to go back to the newsroom and Pamela Young is there. Hi, Pam.
YOUNG: Hi, we've got an update on that fire in Kamuela. It was at 645298 Puanani Drive. Apparently what happened is that the earthquake caused the gas line to the water heater to separate, and that created a disastrous situation. So they are urging people to please check your gas lines before you light those candles. We also have newsroom, a Teresa Koneha from Waikoloa who says the damage was quite bad there. Teresa?
TERESA KONEHA: Yes.
YOUNG: What happened to your home?
KONEHA: Oh we had some separation of the foundation, I believe. Yeah, there's out the back of our house got the worst. We have a retainer wall and it cracked in several places. We do have some damage inside of our house, as everything just kind of shifted and everything, and the door jambs. You can't close one of our doors because of the shifting and there's a crack down like four different walls where it just kind of separated and we have an open beam ceiling and the open beams you can see where they have separated. So there's going to be a lot of fixing up to do.
YOUNG: Are you concerned about the safety in your home right now, have you had someone come out and check it?
KONEHA: Yeah, we had somebody come down who is a structural engineer and he's like, wow! So -- but we're going to have him come back out. It is kind of scary on one part of our house. The part where most of all the damage is, is on our extension part, it's a further part to the end of our house. The middle part of our house, not too much damage, and not too much things that happened there. We did have a water leak, and we've known from a lot of our friends the same thing had happened with the water line, with all the shaking and everything, the water heater just kind of shifted out and then pinched the lines and everything, so a lot of people have been having that. And we have that, so no hot water but other than that, we are ok, but we are concerned about the structural. And there's a lot of people that we've talked to, same thing, they're worried about the structural.
YOUNG: Thank you, Teresa.
KONEHA: Thank you.
YOUNG: Ok, that was Teresa from...
LIN: All right, we are listening to eyewitness testimony of people who are just trying to deal in the aftermath of this earthquake. Their fears, trying to get out of buildings that appear to be damaged, trying to get food and water. Let's hear from some more people who survived the 6.6 earthquake in Hawaii.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of a rolling, not too violent but it lasted for like I said about 20 seconds. Woke me up, enough that I woke my girlfriend up and she didn't feel anything so she fell back asleep.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was the first thing that came to your mind when you felt this earthquake?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in California for the big earthquake back in '89 so my first thought was I'm going to hear screaming and a lot of disaster, but it was pretty calm. People just waking up, so it was good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So no panicking, just people are wondering what just happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that I probably panicked the most, because like I said, I've been in a big earthquake before, so. But other than that, everybody seemed very calm, laughing, joking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ladies were passing these out to all of us and then we were able to go through the hall with these and then we went to the stairs, and we went down with the lights.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The windows shook. The bed was shaking, because I was still in bed. Didn't hear anything right off the bat, and then my neighbor started coming out and asking questions, and yeah. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was the first thing that came to your mind when you felt this earthquake here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry. Well, since I was just waking up, I was surprised and it was like questioning myself, is this an earthquake? I didn't know what was going on quite yet.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you scared or were you pretty calm when all of this was happening?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was calm. It was kind of more like disbelief, more like, since I come from the Midwest, we're used to like tornadoes and heavy wind so I was thinking, well maybe it's just the wind because it's been storming a lot.
LIN: All right. People who are -- woke up this morning a little after 7:00 local time in Hawaii, wondering what just happened. One of those people might have been Beverly Metts, she's standing by in Honolulu right now. Beverly, what did it feel like?
BEVERLY METTS, HONOLULU RESIDENT: Well, it was a nice swaying of the house upstairs, and I kind of knew it was an earthquake, because you know, I've been in one before.
LIN: In Hawaii?
METTS: Actually in Monterey, California.
LIN: All right, so you know what they felt like.
METTS: Yes I did.
LIN: You've probably gone through a series of them back in the late '90s, especially the big one in the Lomaprieta earthquake. I'm just wondering what your first reaction was.
METTS: Well, my first reaction was, will my house hold up.
LIN: Yeah. So you knew what to do, having lived in California, did you stand in a doorway, did you get under cover?
METTS: Actually, no. I stayed pretty calm, because my children were asleep, and I just stayed pretty calm just to see what was going to happen next, if anything was going to fall down, which nothing fell down, nothing fell out of the cabinets, the television didn't move but the house just swayed. You could really feel the swaying of the house.
LIN: Now we've heard of massive power outages in Oahu. Were you affected?
METTS: Yes, actually, we were. We still have no power. Some of the areas around us are starting to get power. Pearl City, I just heard on the little FM/AM radio, received power and (INAUDIBLE) Heights also received power just a few minutes ago.
LIN: So how are you getting by then?
METTS: Well we have -- I always keep emergency supplies in the house, we had, like I said the AM/FM radio, we had water. We had some food, and the kids are doing fine.
LIN: Uh-huh, just another adventure for them, you think?
METTS: Oh, yes, definitely.
LIN: That's the spirit, Beverly. Beverly Metts in Honolulu, thanks so much for sharing your experience, as she's in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. However to the south in the big island of Hawaii it is in a state of emergency. We are getting updates on different situations in hospitals, one on the big island of Hawaii, Kona, the Kona Community Hospital, it's actually a critical care facility and it had to be evacuated, a very tough situation for those patients, who were so, so ill. We have much more coming up straight ahead in our continuing coverage of the Hawaiian earthquake. We'll be right back.
LIN: We are trying to show you as many images as possible from the earthquake zone in Hawaii, where a 6.6 earthquake struck almost seven hours ago. It struck at about a little after 7:00 local time in Hawaii. It was after 1:00 here on the east coast. We've been able to provide continuing live coverage from the region, thanks to our affiliate KITV. Let's go back to them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks to our wonderful cook and things are working out, the students are fine, is basically what I wanted to share.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok, you're making us all jealous here Kapona. By the way, how did you cook these things without any electricity this morning?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well I think Neil our cooker, his crew, we have a gas stove or gas -- we cook by gas and they used a light wok on top of the stove and they're able to cook these things up. And we have our fresh fruit and - yeah, it was a nice buffet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok. So you want all the students to know that it's business as usual when it comes to the meals?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, business as usual. Do their homework and be sure to show up the cafeteria for their meal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ok, thanks (INAUDIBLE). Thank you Shawn and Paula.
PAULA AKANA: All right, thank you very much, Gary. We're going to speak to someone else on the big island in just a moment, but we just want to let big island residents know that the Kmart store in Kona will be opening in just a few minutes, that Kmart store in Kona. So those of you who are looking for supplies and necessities, you can head over there. But right now we have on the line Rianne who is from Captain Cook and Rianne sent us some of the photos that we saw earlier. Hi Rianne.
RIANNE CAPRON, CAPTIAN COOK: Hello.
AKANA: How are you doing?
CAPRON: Hello, this is Rianne.
AKANA: Tell me a little bit about what it was like this morning, and about those pictures you sent us?
CAPRON: Ok, well, I woke up, I felt the room really making a lot of noise, and a lot of shaking, because it's a detached room from the main house. And so I laid down next to the bed. Now, I was in California in Oakland in 1989, when we had the big earthquake and all of that damage, so I knew at that point, it was very similar. I found it very serious, and I was quite frightened. After it finally quit shaking, I ran out, I called to my husband. He came to the middle of the garden of our complex here. Then we called our daughter, who is also in a room, Elizabeth's room is not attached to the main house. I noticed right then there was not a sound, there was not a sound, not a cricket, not a bird, it was totally dead silent. Then I heard my neighbor right next to me, I heard her say she was out on the lanai that you see there on the picture and she was leaning out and she said, "Oh my God, my rock wall!" So we all just went over next door. Her husband had just collected the mail. Their mailbox is buried underneath that refuge you see there of all those rocks. And he had just returned right back up to the house. So we really felt we were blessed, because he could have been underneath that. He had just gotten the "West County Times" delivered underneath that and also his mailbox.
So then we had our other neighbors rally around, there was no electricity, we had no phone so it was really quite, quite disturbing to be in that situation. Where we live here up on the hill, we can see down into (INAUDIBLE) Bay. That's when we saw the red cloud of dust, it was hovering, it was huge at first, and of course then it started to move away and dissipate. And then we noticed there was mud in the bay. You could see red earthen mud crawling, snaking through the current, because there had been so much landslide. I didn't have any real damage. I had glass fall down. We have things, you know Captain Cook is not that far from Kailua City. So that was how it was for us. We heard the roar of the rocks. We were just amazed that we are all ok. We also have animals and our dogs were all just right close to us, as this happened.
AKANA: That's an enormous wall that came down.
CAPRON: Yes, and she has helm insurance so she feels confident that she's going to be ok, they're going to take care of it. They have a backhoe coming in because it's blocking their driveway so they're going to have to move that out in order to get in and out of their house.
AKANA: But good everybody's ok though, that's the main thing.
CAPRON: Everybody is ok and some of the people that have been interviewed didn't seem to be too upset, but I know, it was a big one. I have experience with it and this was a big one, very disturbing.
AKANA: Well thank you Rianne, thank you for calling in and thank you for sending in those pictures. Thank you very much.
CAPRON: You're most welcome. Thank you and aloha.
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