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Okinawans okay after big earthquake rattles Hawaii

Date Posted: 2006-10-19

Life on Hawaii’s islands are returning to some semblance of normal as damage assessments show Sunday’s earthquake did plenty of damage but caused no deaths or injuries.

Okinawans living in Hawaii, but visiting Okinawa for the 4th World Uchinanchu Festival that ended Sunday, were apprehensive about both their families and property in Hawaii, which suffered a 6,7 magnitude earthquake early Sunday morning. The quake hit Sunday at 7:07am ten miles north-northwest of Kailua-Kona on Hawaii Island, and was followed by a series of aftershocks, including one measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale.

Oahu, home to many Okinawans, suffered damage and tens of thousands lost electrical power. “My kitchen dishes and cups fell from shelves and got broken, and I was so frightened,” one Okinawan living there reported. She said Okinawans are trying to reach each other to give each other moral support.

The Honolulu Japanese Counsel General says his office is gathering information about Japanese citizens, and doing everything the Embassy can to provide assistance. Some 90% of power to Hawaii was blacked out following the quake, but nearly all has been restored. Long lines gathered in front of stores that were able to open. Water was the big seller at convenience stores and supermarkets.

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