Earthquake Hazards Gallery
On 4/22/1999, Pahala experienced an earthquake of magnitude 5.6, which caused damage near the epicenter. (The 1868 earthquake, which was the largest in recorded Hawaii history, occurred in the same area; its magnitude is estimated to be 7.9.)
On 10/15/2006, two earthquakes (epicenters at Kiholo Bay and Mahukona) with magnitudes of 6.7 and 6.0 caused extensive damage at many locations, particularly the northern half of the Big Island.
Video Gallery: Damage from the 2006 Earthquakes
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The Congregational Church in Kohala was severely damaged. Fortunately, the Sunday earthquakes occurred in the early morning, before services.
Cracks appeared in many roads, such as this one on the road to Pololu Valley. Government road crews quickly assessed the situation.
Peter Klika, Kohala area resident, explains how he has reinforced his home using simple and inexpensive "strong tie" bracings.
The Waikoloa Elementary School had many ceiling tiles and light fixtures fall. It's obvious that "drop, cover and hold" under a desk would protect you from falling debris.
Photos: Damage from the 2006 Earthquakes
Many fragile items broke when they fell from shelves.
Rock walls were damaged.
Mirrored closet doors fell over.
Cans and bottles were thrown from shelves.
At the Waikoloa Highlands Chevron, the earthquakes shook merchandise from shelves.
Items tend to fall off shelves during large earthquakes. A simple piece of wood or wire across the front of each shelf can prevent this. L-shaped brackets can secure bookshelves to the wall.
Many stores, such as Takata’s in Hawi, had to clean up after the earthquake.
Notice the preferential direction of breakage at the Chevron, which parallels the direction of the fault.
Many residents lost wineglasses in the earthquake. Glassware is far less likely to slide off a shelf if there is a lip of wood across the front. A lip is easy to install.
The smokestack of the Hawi sugar mill collapsed during the earthquake.
The photos below show the effects of the April 16, 1999 Pahala earthquake, magnitude 5.6. Click on the text for a larger image.