Hawaii Earthquake: One Month Later

Bruce McClure
Bruce McClure

(KHNL) - It's been exactly one month since a 6.7 magnitude earthquake rattled the state.

While things are returning to normal, Hawaii County officials are still assessing the damage and some Big Island residents are still waiting for repairs to be done.

At Hale Ho'ola Hamakua in Honokaa, 27 patients pack into the dining room until their rooms are fixed.

"It's kind of hard, too crowded," said Kanacio Amay, patient.

A crumbled rock wall near Honokaa Elementary and High School is a common sight in Hamakua. Many areas are still in need of repairs.

"Well we're still getting calls averaging about 5 a day through Civil Defense to go out there and do damage assessments," said Dwayne Inouye, supervising building inspector.

"We're up to 1,600 inspections that we've done. We have about 61 that are red-tagged or unsafe and of those, 2 have been downgraded to yellow so they have restricted use," said Bruce McClure, public works director.

But some numbers are changing. The Water Department reports a major increase in repair costs to its systems, from almost $2 million to more than $10 million because crews are still uncovering damage.

The good news is farmers in Kohala are now receiving water. But others, like these patients, will need to wait a little longer until things return to normal. Some will return to their rooms next week; others, next month.

Hawaii County officials hear that some people whose homes are damaged, aren't stepping forward, because they're afraid they'll be kicked out of their houses and have nowhere to go.