Hawaii County Crews Reopen Roads, Assess Damage to Homes, Businesses and Public Facilities in the Wake of the Tsunami

From the Mayors Office:

County of Hawai‘i Public Works crews worked quickly today to clear and reopen Kona roads to allow for detailed assessments of damage, and to clear the way for the public to return to most areas that were closed early this morning as a damaging tsunami approached the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento predicted the damage from the tsunami to homes, businesses, roads and other infrastructure in the County of Hawai‘i will total millions of dollars.

Mayor Billy Kenoi thanked residents for their cooperation and calm as the tsunami approached, noting that the evacuation and preparations for the arrival of the tsunami were executed quickly and safely.

The tsunami resulted in no deaths in the County of Hawai‘i, although there was one injury. A County Department of Public Works Highways Division employee was found unconscious early Friday morning with a head injury, and was taken to Kona Community Hospital for observation.

“I am proud of the way our community pulled together to answer this threat, and I am proud of the efficient, rapid response to this event by our state, federal and county employees, “ Mayor Kenoi said. “Our community knew what to do, and our residents did what was necessary without hesitation, and without complaint.

“I am very concerned about the preliminary damage reports that are coming in, but we all recognize that this could have been much worse. We were very lucky,” Mayor Kenoi said.

More Devastating Footage of the Tsunami that Came Ashore in Kailua-Kona Last Night

Here is more footage of the tsunami that came ashore in Kailua-Kona following the 9.1 earthquake that hit Japan last night:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Wh0_yNJhc]

Five Earthquakes on Big Island Registered Over 3.0 on the Richter Scale in Last 24 Hours

Well it has been a very exciting and tense 24 hours here on the Big Island.  A quick look at the earthquakes in the last 24 hours shows that we have had 5 over 3.0 on the Richter Scale since the big 9.1 magnitude earthquake in Japan.

MAP 2.4 2011/03/11 21:15:23 19.374 -154.993 9.7 13 km ( 8 mi) SW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 3.3 2011/03/11 19:46:26 19.341 -154.990 10.6 16 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.3 2011/03/11 16:08:35 19.226 -154.893 4.7 28 km ( 17 mi) S of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.3 2011/03/11 11:58:12 19.331 -154.993 10.0 18 km ( 11 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 1.8 2011/03/11 11:16:03 19.420 -155.010 12.7 11 km ( 7 mi) SW of Pahoa, HI
MAP 1.9 2011/03/11 10:42:47 19.367 -154.985 10.6 14 km ( 8 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.1 2011/03/11 10:32:36 19.337 -154.990 0.6 17 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.0 2011/03/11 09:57:55 19.344 -154.981 10.3 16 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.7 2011/03/11 09:45:07 19.295 -154.944 10.8 20 km ( 12 mi) S of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.0 2011/03/11 09:36:21 19.412 -155.022 0.0 12 km ( 8 mi) SW of Pahoa, HI
MAP 3.0 2011/03/11 09:33:57 19.382 -155.015 7.6 14 km ( 9 mi) SW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.9 2011/03/11 09:24:53 19.351 -154.999 8.7 16 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 1.9 2011/03/11 09:24:24 19.312 -154.941 13.2 18 km ( 11 mi) S of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.6 2011/03/11 09:14:35 19.334 -154.981 9.9 17 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.6 2011/03/11 09:10:25 19.329 -154.988 7.6 18 km ( 11 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.4 2011/03/11 09:07:02 19.360 -155.006 8.4 16 km ( 10 mi) SW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.8 2011/03/11 09:05:22 19.335 -154.978 9.7 17 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.5 2011/03/11 09:03:55 19.319 -154.956 13.6 18 km ( 11 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 2.5 2011/03/11 09:03:44 19.376 -154.989 10.1 13 km ( 8 mi) SW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 3.3 2011/03/11 09:03:37 19.349 -154.950 31.4 14 km ( 9 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 4.6 2011/03/11 08:58:25 19.340 -154.992 9.3 17 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI
MAP 3.3 2011/03/11 06:18:03 19.344 -154.989 8.5 16 km ( 10 mi) SSW of Leilani Estates, HI

Tsunami Hits Hulihee Palace *Updated*

Announcement:

The grounds of seaside Hulihe‘e Palace have suffered damage from this morning’s early tsunami. While the basement of the palace is flooded, it is still unknown if the first floor of the palace, with its many artifacts, suffered any damage.

Long-time palace administrator Fanny Au Hoy reports that several treasured artifacts were removed from the landmark last night in anticipation of the tsunami. “We filled three vehicles,” she shared.

Local law enforcement is keeping people away from the downtown Kailua-Kona area and Au Hoy has been unable to verify the condition of the palace’s interior. She says there is sand and gravel on the palace’s oceanside lanai.

Au Hoy confirmed the palace’s caretaker cottage has been damaged, as well as the lanai of the next-door Kuakini Building, which houses the palace’s kitchen and meeting area.

In addition to debris being spread throughout the palace grounds, Au Hoy shared that part of the slab topping the seawall has been damaged. “It’s in the area by the flagpole,” she detailed.

The palace, which is managed by the Daughters of Hawai‘i, will remain closed until further notice. Au Hoy added that the Honolulu office of the organization has been appraised of the palace’s current situation.

Hulihe‘e Palace reopened in September 2009 after receiving a $1.5 million renovation to repair damage suffered in the October 2007 earthquake.

HULIHE’E PALACE CARETAKERS—Founded in 1903, the Daughters of Hawai‘i opens its membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in their efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all, 329-1877, www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

*UPDATE:

The main floors of Hulihe‘e Palace were spared the wrath of this morning’s tsunami, which inundated Ali‘i Drive in Kailua Village. While the basement of the palace is flooded, there was no water damage to the first floor of the seaside historic landmark.

“From what we can see with the naked eye, it looks like we’re okay,” says long-time palace administrator Fanny Au Hoy. She said plans are in the works to pump water out of the basement and a structural inspection will need to be completed.

The palace’s newly renovated caretaker cottage didn’t fare so well. It is off its foundation and the adjacent Ki‘ope Pond, which was used in ancient times by Hawaiian royalty for aquaculture, suffered damage to its mauka wall.

“It looks like water came into the pond, surged, and then washed under the cottage,” details Au Hoy.

The next-door Kuakini Building, which houses the palace’s kitchen and gift shop, suffered interior water damage. The top of the seawall along the oceanside lawn of the palace was also damaged.

Au Hoy reports several treasured artifacts were removed from the landmark last night in anticipation of the tsunami. “We filled three vehicles,” she shared.

The palace, which is managed by the Daughters of Hawai‘i, will remain closed until further notice.

Hulihe‘e Palace reopened in September 2009 after receiving a $1.5 million renovation to repair damage suffered in the October 2006 earthquake.

Time Lapse Video of the Tsunami Surge in Kailua-Kona

Here is a time lapse video of the Tsunami Surge that hit Kailua-Kona this morning following the 9.1 earthquake off the coast of Japan.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjCV182S5y4]