October 16, 2006 9:07 AM   Subscribe

A 6.6. magnitude earthquake hit Hawaii on Sunday. The quake originated from 24 miles below the west coast of the Big Island. Mefi's own pzarquon posted photos of Honolulu without power, and there's also a photo pool. AP reports: "Across the state, residents reported little panic, and for some the loss of power meant it was time to sit outside, set up barbecues and talk with friends and neighbors."
posted by NemesisVex (11 comments total)
double ;)
posted by caddis at 9:33 AM on October 16, 2006

I was surprised this wasn't posted yesterday because this sort of news usually is and it's usually tolerated. I, personally, don't like even this sort of NewsFilter.

As it happens, though, I have a friend/ex-girlfriend who lives in Hilo. She's an astronomer working up on the top of the mountain. She was mostly grumpy about being awakened and felt that some of the news about the earthquake was sensationalistic. Her house weathered the quake fine. The power going out at the summit at the observatory caused some minor problems, though (she's a staff astronomer at the sub-millimeter array).

What I wondered is if the quake was a tectonic even or if it was a volcanic-related event. Being completely ignorant about the subject, I'd be afraid of an eruption somewhere.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:45 AM on October 16, 2006

Hey, Nemesis Vex ... we are back online! Yeah, that was a big one. My first thoughts were about tsunamis, of course. Then, computer and cell phone outage (most frustrating). Then (after checking in on family and friends) ... coffee! I spent the afternoon slaving over a keawe grill (onolicious grinds!).

Luckily there seems to be little damage anywhere -- that we can see, anyway. I am sure those undersea cliffs of Molokai are a big question mark. There will be lots of talk about this here today. I imagine some of the topics will include: Can we blame the Koreans? ... Waikiki!: 100,000 starving, angry people (could turn in to the reverse of Capt. Cook's last visit?) ... WHERE was that manapua truck?? ...

Some more links:

(The photo of the Japanese wedding party is especially eloquent)

Last year this was discussed:

Around 120,000 years ago, says Fryer, the coastal shelf collapsed into the ocean, creating a cataclysmic megatsunami that washed over the Hawaiian Islands, penetrating up to four miles inland and a third of a mile high.

In the intervening millennia, says the University of Hawaii geophysicist, the coastline has built back up and is ripe for a repeat.

That doesn't mean it will happen tomorrow, or next year, or even next century.

"Those things happen few and far between, but we cannot ignore them because when they do happen they are so catastrophic that they are sort of culture-ending disasters," says Fryer. "I am pretty much convinced that if there would be a big landslide like that, there would be abundant warning. There would be lots of little earthquakes, and it should be pretty well defined. I think there would be months or even years of warning. But it would still be a catastrophe."

posted by Surfurrus at 10:47 AM on October 16, 2006

Ethereal Bligh: It wasn't tectonic. Hawaii is over what's called a "hot spot". Think of it as just a spot where the crust is extra thin. All the rock that's built up over the years from volcanic activity is pushing down on the crust and created sort of mini-faults. Newsweek has an article specifically about this.
posted by ruthsarian at 11:24 AM on October 16, 2006

btw, the whole state was in a blackout yesterday, and I didn't see the 'askfilter' thread before I posted -- will check that out.

Ethereal Bligh: our volcanos are not shield volcanos -- they don't generally "blow up" -- ours are pretty predictable (and more 'oozing' than explosive), actually. Our biggest fears are offshore tsunamis ... if close enough, they could hit with no warning.
posted by Surfurrus at 11:26 AM on October 16, 2006

You know what's pathetic? In the hours after the quake, when the lights were out, I spent a significant amount of precious battery life on my cellphone trying to figure out how to read MeFi on it.

It was rather nice, however, to be able to use the time without electricity and the Internet to actually sit down and read a whole slew of the dead-tree reading material that I've been meaning to "get to" for years.
posted by melorama at 1:12 PM on October 16, 2006

A commenter at DailyKos says it was Bush's fault! (And he wasn't joking, either.)

Hawaii is smacko in the middle of the Pacific Plate. The nearest major fault line is the San Andreas in California.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:23 PM on October 16, 2006

A commenter at DailyKos says it was Bush's fault!

It wasn't?
posted by melorama at 1:26 PM on October 16, 2006

A commenter at DailyKos says it was Bush's fault!

It wasn't?

No. It's Clinton's fault. It's always Clinton's fault!

(The Kos reference blames the Korean A-test. What a maroon (to quote everyone's favorite bunny). The the D-maroons can blame Bush, and the R-maroons can blame Clinton. But after all, they're all maroons.)
posted by hexatron at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2006

Make that 6.7

(hey! it's logarithmic!)
posted by heydanno at 5:40 PM on October 16, 2006

Glad all my Hawaii Mefites are okay :)
posted by onalark at 7:33 PM on October 16, 2006

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