Incredible Damage For Big Island Homes And Communities

Richard Alcoran
Richard Alcoran
Janice Arakaki
Janice Arakaki

By Paul Drewes

(KHNL) - A drive along Hawi's highways shows home after home has some damage from this quake.

The Alcoran house in Hawi used to sit on concrete blocks, but those are now underneath the house.

"The whole house shifted when the earthquake hit - it shifted about two feet," says Richard Alcoran.

His home is now braced to keep it from moving any further, but this Big Island family is now without plumbing and sewer lines because those pipes were crushed by the house when it moved.

Some houses withstood the initial jolts, only to be damaged by the after effects of the quake.

In Waimea, neighbors say, an electric pole broke.

Those downed line then hit the home's water heater, which started the fire.

While there is damage across the island, no deaths have been reported.

But that could have changed if the quake struck three hours later, judging by the damage to a north Kohala church that was reduced to rubble.

"I'm just so glad that church wasn't in session when something terrible like this happened, people would be running out the back door and look at the rubble there," says Kalahikola Church member, Janice Arakaki.

But even among the rubble, church members have gathered to talk about the future of this church which has been a part of this Hawaii community for the past 150 years.

It has been damaged before, but always rebuilt.

And that won't change in this disaster says Kalahikola Church trustee, Ron Hester.

"We're going to rebuild, there's no question about that!"