Hello again, we’re getting back to normal.
Come to think of it though, it’s probably an easier time, because it’s not a matter of your own self-induced struggle with productivity: When there’s an earthquake like this everyone knows what’s going on, you needn’t explain much, and you have a lot of company.
Not that I would wish this on anyone. While the last two days certainly qualify as a Nalu it! kind of adventure, they aren’t in that category you’d consider much fun to go through. Just in case you haven’t been watching the news, and wondering what I’m talking about, these were the headlines in my local paper yesterday and today:
Monday, October 16, 2006:
“RATTLED. Magnitude-6.6 earthquake jolts Big Island Sunday”
Tuesday, October 17, 2006:
“EARTHQUAKE AFTERMATH. Early resports show more than $40 million in damage; county seeking presidential disaster declaration”
I’m up early to write this, for the latest aftershock was a 3.9’er just after 5am this morning, number 60-something as far as the aftershocks go. 3.9 is very mild and normally something we sleep through, but we’re getting increasingly sensitive to feeling them after that big Sunday shaker; people here remain on edge.
We live in Waikoloa on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is just up the mountain from that first 6.6 epicenter ” when you look at those quake maps, we’re very close to Puako (9 miles), with Kailua-Kona about 30 miles south of us, and Hawi, where the second largest aftershock at 6.0 was, is about 24 miles north of us.
Our neighborhood is on a mountainside in the saddle of two volcanoes, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, both considered dormant, and so we get rumblers all the time. However that first 6.6 quake was definitely the loudest, longest, and most alarming quake I’ve ever experienced because of its proximity to us, and it did a significant amount of damage. Most of what was about waist level and up in my home ended up on the floor. No one was hurt. We had one ceiling beam that cracked through, but we didn’t think it was a big concern ” until the rains came last night with the newest twist: a tropical storm. The leaks started in several places and so it seems we have some roofing challenges.
Still, our home was built for earthquakes by design, and needing roof repairs is nothing compared to what others have to deal with here. I have no complaints, and in the spirit of opportunity knocking, have been purging my home of some clutter at the same time we clean up. Funny how these disasters can have you count your blessings rather than asking, “Why me?”
Unlike those on the island of O‘ahu, we got our electricity and water back within about 6 hours Sunday; internet service yesterday. The spotty to non-existent phone service was the biggest challenge for us; when these things happen your first impulse is just to call the people you love, and that’s what you try to do, sitting in the midst of the rubble. I was home alone when the first earthquake hit, and all I wanted was to get hold of my husband and my daughter, both who were down at the coast, even though I was certain they both knew to get away from the water immediately. A shifting-plate earthquake near the islands can bring us a tsunami here within 7 minutes ” not a comfortable thought. Luckily, this was a deep-earth quake, and of that type not strong enough to generate a tsunami.
There is still much to do here. Most of our initial clean-up is done at home, but there are other community and business concerns, especially now that Kawaihae boat harbor is shut down indefinitely, for that is where all our supplies come in ” fuel, food and such. Businesses here will be severely impacted. Schools remain closed. Adjustments all around.
Mahalo nui, thank you, for the emails and voicemails so many of you have sent me. It was so heartwarming to read them when I got my internet service back yesterday. Wanted to get this up so you’ll know we’re fine, however this will probably be my only post for another week or so as we get back to normal. Please don’t be concerned. Just know I have to Nalu it! in an unanticipated way, and in the spirit of our ho‘ohana, we’re helping our neighbors and local community make the best of things.