2006 Kiholo Bay earthquake

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2006 Hawaii earthquake
UTC time??
Magnitude6.7 Mw
Areas affectedHawaii, United States
CasualtiesNo reported deaths [1]
The main earthquake and its aftershocks

The 2006 Hawaii earthquake was an offshore earthquake occurring 10 km (6 miles) southwest from Puakō, Hawai'i, United States, on Sunday October 15 2006 at 7:07:49 AM local time (17:07:49 (UTC)). It measured 6.7 on the Richter scale, and was located at 19°52′41″N 155°56′06″W / 19.878°N 155.935°W / 19.878; -155.935, at a depth of 38.9 km (24.2 miles).[2] It produced several aftershocks, including one that measured a magnitude of 6.0 seven minutes after the main shock.[3] The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center measured a four-inch tsunami on the coast of the Big Island. [4]

Modified Mercalli Intensity was measured at Force VII-VIII on the western side of the island of Hawaii, and Force VI on eastern Maui. Force V shaking intensity was felt all the way to Oahu, where patches of moderate damage were reported. [5]

The earthquake caused property damage, injuries, landslides, power outages, and airport delays and closures. [4] Governor Linda Lingle issued a disaster declaration for the entire state.[6]



The most severe damage caused by the earthquake was focused on the north and western sides of the island of Hawaii. Damage was also quite heavy on the eastern side of Maui, and minor damage spread all the way out to western Oahu, 170 miles away from the earthquake's epicenter. On the Big Island, many houses had large cracks and broken windows, and at least 61 buildings were destroyed and red-tagged by officials. Almost all houses in west Hawaii reported extensive internal damage but most avoided significant structural damage, the reason being that most of the buildings in the area around the epicenter of the earthquake have been built in the last few decades and are well constructed. Even so, over $200 million in damage occurred.[6]

The largest and most luxurious hotels on the Island of Hawaii all so happened to be clustered within ten miles of the earthquake's epicenter along the Kohala coast. The famous Mauna Kea Hotel had its entire south end collapse, and the hotel's top floor was so extensively damaged that it still remains closed and will require millions of dollars in structural repairs. The Hapuna Prince Hotel was temporarily evacuated after the earthquake due to damage and flooding caused by broken waterpipes.

Many roads and bridges collapsed or had deep cracks, and clean-up crews had to work for days to remove debris from the countless landslides. Famous landmarks on the island were greatly affected. The Kalahikiola Congregational Church in Kohala was destroyed due to the collapse of the church's stone walls; the famous Hawi smoke stack, a relic of the old sugarcane trade, completely collapsed as well. The Hulihee Palace in Kailua Kona suffered extensive structural damage.[6] Another famous tourist area, Kealakekua Bay, home of the famous white tomb of Captain Cook, was swept over by massive landslides that caused the entire bay and its surrounding areas to momentarily disappear in a thick cloud of brown dust.[6]

Damage was estimated at over $46 million (2006 USD).[1]


Power plants on Maui and the Big Island automatically shut off power to prevent damage, and generators tripped on Oahu, causing overloads in the electrical grid. [7] The Oahu power outages lasted 14 hours in some locations; only half of Hawaiian Electric Company's (HECO) Oahu customers had power restored before 9 pm, while outages generally lasted to about 5 pm on Maui and Hawaii. Power was restored to all HECO circuits by 1:55 am; however, there were isolated blackouts due to local problems, such as blown fuses. Power in Laie and Kahuku was not restored until 3 am. In Honolulu and Kahe, HECO generators shut down, and other generators tried to compensate, resulting in uneven loads on Oahu's electrical network and causing the system to shut down to prevent damage. [8].

Mauna Kea Observatory

During the earthquake and aftershocks, a number of the telescopes at the Mauna Kea Observatory sustained minor damage, primarily Kecks 1 and 2, and the CFHT. [9] The CFHT was operational and back online as of 19 October [10] , however the Kecks remain under repair. [11]

Political reaction

Democratic and Republican representatives were angered by the length of the power failure, calling for an investigation into proposed legislation to speed up blackout recovery. Governor Linda Lingle and some Hawaii State Senators said that Carlito Caliboso, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, had been asked to research the outage and decide whether to begin a formal investigation. [12]


  1. ^ 'Hawaiian: We were rocking and rolling', CNN, 2006-08-15
  2. ^ "Magnitude 6.7 - ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII". USGS. 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2006-10-15. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Magnitude 5,8 - HAWAII REGION, HAWAII". USGS. 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2006-10-15. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b Strong Quake Rocks Hawaii, Maui Weekly, 2006-10-19, accessed 2006-10-21
  5. ^ [http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/shake/STORE/Xtwbh_06/ciim_display.html Did you feel it? Shake intensity map], USGS, accessed October 15 2006
  6. ^ a b c d Disaster declared as quake hits Hawaii, Associated Press, accessed October 15, 2006 Cite error: The named reference "ap" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference "ap" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: The named reference "ap" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ Outages hit Oahu hardest, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, accessed October 19, 2006
  8. ^ Outage stirs anger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, accessed October 19, 2006
  9. ^ Hawaii quake damages special telescopes, Yahoo news, accessed 20 October 2006
  10. ^ 2006 October 15 Earthquake Aftermath at CFHT, University of Hawai'i, accessed 20 October 2006
  11. ^ Earthquake Update from W.M. Keck Observatory, Keck Observatory, accessed 20 October 2006
  12. ^ Outage stirs anger, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, accessed October 19, 2006

External links