Earthquake Damages Kona Landmark

Fanny Au Hoy
Fanny Au Hoy

(KHNL) - One of the places that suffered damage from Sunday's earthquake is a historical landmark in Kona.

Hulihe'e Palace is still standing, but it suffered at least $1 million in damage.

"It just broke my heart," said Fanny Au Hoy, who has worked there for more than 25 years.

Mother Nature caused large cracks on the walls of the building and made parts of the roof fall on ancient pieces and personal memorabilia.

"Princess Ruth's writing desk, Kapiolani's koa writing desk with Kalakaua's signature on it," said Au Hoy.

This palace, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1838 and 95% of all the artifacts in there are original pieces.

"And then to see in a matter of a minute, 60 seconds, how much can be destroyed," said Au Hoy.

Engineers say the building is structurally safe, but it will be repaired before the doors reopen. And crews will likely use the same of materials that were used to build it, in the 19th century.

"It's a tragedy, but it can be saved," said Au Hoy.

People who work here say it's important to preserve Hawaiian history and culture for the next generation.