SAN FRANCISCO - A powerful earthquake and repeated aftershocks rattled Hawaii
on Sunday, knocking out power and unnerving residents and vacationers but
causing no injuries or extensive structural damage, agencies reported.
People wait in line for food at a
roadside chicken stand in Kihei, Hawaii, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006, after an
earthquake struck the big island of Hawaii knocking out power and forcing
restaurants and other merchants to close.
The 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Hawaii on Sunday
morning, with shaking and power outages felt as far as 150 miles (240 km) away
on the island of Oahu.
The earthquake was not strong enough to trigger a tsunami warning, according
to Victor Sardina, a geophysicist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or fatalities as the earthquake
struck off a sparsely populated area, but there were scattered reports of
damage. Power outages were widespread, including in Honolulu and across Oahu,
where most of the state's residents live.
Gov. Linda Lingle declared a state of emergency, allowing her to mobilize the
state's National Guard units, said Ray Lovell, a spokesman for Hawaii State
"It's going to take a while to get the power back on (on Oahu) because the
grid is so massive compared to any of the other islands," Lovell said.
The U.S. Geological Survey considers an earthquake of 6.6 magnitude to be
strong. The agency initially recorded the earthquake as a 6.3 magnitude temblor.
The Honolulu Advertiser reported on its Web site that Honolulu International
Airport was closed, there were landslides in Hamakua and Kealakekua, and major
damage at Kona Hospital, the Honokaa Long-term Care Facility and the Royal Kona
"It was the biggest earthquake we've been through. It was pretty serious and
we've lived in Tokyo for 11 years," said Arthur Roberts, who lives 15 miles (24
km) north of Hilo on Hawaii. Japan has severe earthquakes.
Honolulu resident Carol Chesney said the earthquake shook the city enough to
awaken everyone. "The whole house really rattled," she told Reuters by
Stuart Koyanagi, another geophysicist at the tsunami warning center, said the
6.6 magnitude earthquake was followed seven minutes later by a 5.8 magnitude
temblor and by several smaller quakes. Seismologists warned of aftershocks
Michael Poland, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian
Volcano Observatory, said the earthquake was likely the largest to hit Hawaii
since 1989, and possibly the largest since an even larger one measuring 7.2 hit
in 1975. Those earthquakes struck less developed areas, Poland