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CNN BREAKING NEWS

At Least Two Earthquakes Hit Hawaii

Aired October 15, 2006 - 14:25   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Fredericka Whitfield in Atlanta. We interrupted this program to bring you this breaking news of an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9 shaking at least two of the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and the Big Island. It happened about an hour ago. It's believed to have been centered about 137 miles east- southeast Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Keoki Kerr is a report with KITV and is in Oahu on that island.
And, Keoki, what can you tell me about what happened?

KEOKI KERR, KITV REPORTER: Well, Fredricka, I can tell you that the quake woke me up this morning, shortly after 7:00 in the morning Sunday Hawaii time. And I've lived in Hawaii for nearly 40 years and this is the strongest earthquake I've ever felt. It shook for about 30 seconds. It was sort of soft at beginning and then it got stronger and stronger and stronger and then it slowly faded away.

From what I've been able to gather by phone, there are no serious injuries reported at this point, but I have to caution you on that because it's difficult to reach people by phone. There are reports of some landslides and things falling off of shelves and that sort of thing, but at this point there are no initial reports of serious structural damage or any injuries.

Power is out on the capital island of Oahu, which has Honolulu and Waikiki with the bulk of the hotels in Hawaii. Telephone communication is difficult. There are a lot of cell phone services that are down. I'm talking to you right now on my landline. That's the only way I can reach people right now, Fredericka.

WHITFIELD: And so, what's your understanding as to how communication could be put into place when something like this is to happen? Traditionally what would take place there?

KERR: Well, we have a very good emergency warning system. We have sirens every single island that would go off in the event of an emergency. For instance if there were a tsunami generated -- at this point, obviously, we have no reports of a tsunami generated. That would have happened a lot closer to the proximity of the earthquake after it happened. But we would have heard sirens going off on every single island after severe tsunamis struck the island about 40...

(AUDIO GAP)

KERR: ... a statewide siren system that can alert people even if you have no electricity, even if the phones are down, you can at least hear that there is an alert going on and that has not gone out. People are obviously trying to listen to radios in their cars or their battery-operated radios to see what is going on and calling each other, with the Internet connections down, cell phones are down, it is quite difficult to communicate with people, with, you know, friends and loved ones, never mind as reporters trying to gather information about what's going on.

WHITFIELD: And, Keoki, while you talk about the power being out on the capital island, the most populated of the chain of islands there in Hawaii, we are also hearing reports that possibly on the Big Island, much further south of you, and you can see it on the map viewers there, the Big Island, that possibly there is structural damage.

Given that that island isn't as populated, isn't as developed as, say, the island of Oahu, does that sound like a reasonable account?

KERR: Oh, yes. Most definitely. There are, you know, many resorts on the Big Island of Hawaii. That is also home to our active to our active volcano, Kilauea Volcano, with numerous observatories there. So there are a lot of high tech facilities on that island, a lot of resorts and hotels and obviously a lot of businesses.

And too, it is a spread-out island and the communication will be difficult. And actually the transportation, too, to get around that island would be difficult. So at this point I've also heard, I've also spoken to the people on the island of Molokai, who also felt this quite strongly also for 30 seconds, that first one.

And I should also note also, Fredricka, that there was an aftershock that happened roughly five to 10 minutes after the first one, it was not as strong.

WHITFIELD: Well, talk to me, Keoki about how often earthquakes seem to hit that area?

KERR: Not very frequently. We -- in fact, it's interesting because we just had another one toward the end of August that was felt on the windward side of Oahu and on some of the other neighbor islands that was not very strong. No tsunami was generated, a few things fell off the shelves, that sort of thing.

But it was not -- certainly not -- and I felt that one myself as well, and that certainly was not as strong and not as long-lasting as this one that really jolted everybody awake here if they weren't already awake a little after 7:00 on a Sunday morning.

WHITFIELD: And again, to reemphasize, when we are looking at the U.S. Geological Survey measuring a magnitude of 6.3 now of this very sizable earthquake, at the same time, no reports of any kind of tsunami warnings. That's what you're hearing and that's what you're hearing as well, right, Keoki?

KERR: Yes. That's right. That's right, Fredericka. And that would make sense that that first one, and, you know, a little over six on the Richter scale. That is that first extremely strong one. I'll tell you, I live in a townhouse and I immediately went to my front door and stood in the frame and it was getting stronger and stronger and it was getting so strong that I was about to just run out of my townhouse into the parking lot because that's how strong it got. It was scary.

WHITFIELD: Well, some frightening moments. Now it is roughly, what? In the 8 a.m. hour there now? This taking place a little over an hour ago? So it is daylight, so what about people venturing out? You mentioned no power, but certainly bright enough for people to venture out and see what's going on? Are people doing that?

KERR: Yes, they are. I mean, I've just -- when I've been able to call friends and call people, they are going out to see if there was any damage. And at this people I've been able to talk to, a few things fell off shelves, you know, a broken glass here and there, but that's all, at least anecdotally, I've been able to gather myself.

WHITFIELD: Keoki Kerr, reporter with KITV reporting to us now on the phone from Oahu. Thank you so much for your report. And I know we'll be in touch with you to see what else may be developing there. Meantime, we want to go to Bruce Presgrave with the U.S. Geological Survey.

And so, Bruce, this number pretty significant, 6.3 on the Richter scale?

BRUCE PRESGRAVE, U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY: Yes. We classify that as a strong earthquake.

WHITFIELD: And so, what kind of damage is generally associated with that kind of measurement?

PRESGRAVE: An earthquake of this size can cause some fairly substantial damage in the immediate to epicentral (ph) area.

WHITFIELD: Mm-hmm. But when we're talking about a string of islands and particularly since we're hearing from people who have felt this earthquake in the island of Oahu, which is very developed, there are a lot of tall buildings, hotels and places of residence, what would they be up against, that kind of structure? What would they be up against with a 6.3?

PRESGRAVE: Well, it depends a lot on how close the building is to the structure or to the earthquake. It also depends a lot on the structures themselves. Generally the large hotels -- or the large -- the multi-story buildings usually do fairly well in an earthquake like this, although an event would be felt quite a bit more strongly in the upper stories of buildings, so.

WHITFIELD: OK. And give me an idea of the kind of information you have about this earthquake. Early information I have is that this quake was centered about 137 miles east-southeast of Honolulu. Does that sound about right or do you have better information?

PRESGRAVE: Well, our preliminary location is along the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, which is a similar reference -- a similar distance, but we don't have a reference from Honolulu.

WHITFIELD: OK. And what further can the U.S. Geological Survey do about assessing what exactly took place here and if anything else is imminent?

PRESGRAVE: Well, we will continue to monitor it. The location and magnitude may change slightly as additional data are received. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will -- would pursue presumably additional studies as needed if there's a large aftershock sequence or things like that.

WHITFIELD: And now that no tsunami warning has been issued, does that mean that there couldn't be a change in that course?

PRESGRAVE: The latest bulletin from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says no tsunami is expected.

WHITFIELD: OK. Bruce Presgrave with the U.S. Geological Survey. We appreciate it. Thanks so much. And now Erik Von Ancken, who is a reporter also in Hawaii joining us now on the line.

Erik, where are you, which island?

ERIK VON ANCKEN, WKMG REPORTER, VACATIONING IN HAWAII: Hi, Fredericka. We are actually on the Big Island just a few miles north of Kona on the west coast. We're at a resort here and we're right on the water, literally right on the Pacific Ocean here.

WHITFIELD: And so what did you all feel?

VON ANCKEN: Well, I've got to tell you, it was a little bit nerve-racking.

WHITFIELD: Yes, I bet.

VON ANCKEN: We were down by the water, my fiancee and I. I've never been in an earthquake and it was fairly early, just after 7:00. And we were walking on some of the paths by the ocean there. And the first thing that happened is the fish in the pond -- there's a pond before the ocean, obviously they felt something.

They started jumping. We thought it was some kind of show or water fountains and then everything started to shake. There was a rumble. My fiancee was very scared. She started to cry. The windows on the buildings started to shake again, adding more noise to this. It lasted, I don't know, 10, 15 seconds and then the panic set in.

WHITFIELD: Wow.

VON ANCKEN: You have a lot of visitors here from the continental United States. A lot of Americans, a lot of Japanese tourists.

WHITFIELD: So when you say panic set in, what do you mean? What did you see out of people?

VON ANCKEN: Well, that's what I mean. We don't -- no one really knew exactly what this was. I mean, the guess was that this was an earthquake, but of course, last night in fact I was watching a program on the tsunami. That was everybody's thought.

People started to run, people started to run for higher ground. The alarms went off in the hotel, signaling -- it was like a fire alarm signaling people to get out of the room. We went out of the room.

The people that work here, a lot of the employees just didn't really know what was going, either. They were getting direction, but that was difficult. They -- no one was talking to them. The order was go to higher ground. There's a golf course behind the resort so we started being moved there.

But no -- we've only been here one night and no one really knew how to get there. There were -- a lot of people were very concerned. A lot of tears. A lot of fear. And you know, you were just talking about this -- the tsunami warnings have not been issued but try telling that to people...

WHITFIELD: Right.

VON ANCKEN: ... thousands of people at this resort who don't have cable, we have one channel right now. We're trying to get an update. And again, most of these employees for that to filter through them and for them to relay it to us is very difficult.

WHITFIELD: Well, Erik, you know, forgive me for laughing. You know, what's comical about this, if there is something comical about it, here you are vacationing from Orlando, Florida, and when you say you've never been through an earthquake before, you can't be anymore far removed from it, and then here you are on this peaceful place vacationing and then this happens and it sounds as though you're telling me no real guidance on the resort where you're staying as to what kind of plan of action to put into place when something like this happens.

VON ANCKEN: And, Fredricka, that's the irony here. We're used to hurricanes where I work in Orlando, where we live in Orlando. And just this morning we were walking around for about an hour. We were up right around sunrise. And it was so peaceful. It's a gorgeous place and the resort staff is really great. I have to compliment them.

It just doesn't seem like their fault that the communication didn't come quickly enough, but that's what everybody needed and that's what we still need. They said you can go back into your rooms. There's a little bit of structural damage. They wanted to...

WHITFIELD: Well, describe that for me.

VON ANCKEN: Well, they wanted to inspect the structure to make sure everyone could go back in. But we're talking some of the chandeliers, pieces of that fell down. We -- as soon as we felt the second aftershock, which was much more mild, but nonetheless, you felt the shaking, there was something from a -- it was like a large overhang, something dropped. So -- and there were people around and people -- that was immediately an indication to get out from underneath any overhangs or buildings or stay out in the open.

There is some -- it looks like some cracking in a few pieces of the structure, maybe some dust where -- you know, where there is some joints. We saw a line of dust on the ground where you can see it was shaken.

WHITFIELD: And so, Erik, let me just interrupt you for a moment because we're looking at a map from the USGS Web site, the U.S. Geological Survey, and it is showing the Big Island and the west portion of the island where there are some notations on this map kind of leading you to believe that this might be about where the epicenter was.

We described that and the U.S. Geological Survey had described that the epicenter may be about 137 miles east-southeast of Honolulu and our last guess with the USGS indicated that that was very close to the Big Island. So from your standpoint where you are, are you being told anything officially about how close you all were to the largest jolts that were felt?

VON ANCKEN: Right. Unfortunately not really, Fredricka, and the reason is again because you have so many guests, and I'm sure the staff are doing other things. But -- and that's what's a little bit strange is that people have almost gone back to doing what they were doing before.

And again, I think it's largely because there are a lot of tourists here. People are on vacation and maybe they don't want to think about this, but there are people who initially got in their rental cars and said we're going to drive to higher ground. You can still see it on some faces. People are a little bit confused, people are puzzled...

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: And higher ground, if we can just say, just about the topography of the Big Island is where most of the volcanic, you know, activity is, Mount Kilauea being there on the Big Island. So going to higher ground is more comforting to a lot of people there?

VON ANCKEN: You know, that was one of the discussions. When were standing in the parking lot with one of the employees here, she explained that sometimes this it is due to some of the volcanic activity, and as you know, one of the volcanoes here is still erupting.

It has been erupting for about 25 years. So they were wondering -- or waiting on word, I should say, to see if that was linked to this volcano. And if that's the case, where is the lava going to flow out. And that's what they were saying they were waiting on is -- from what I understand, the lava is flowing out on the other side of the island which is, of course, less inhabited than this side. But that was the concern. And then do you stay where you are? Do you go to higher ground, as you say, the volcanoes? You know, we were thinking about of doing this tomorrow. We...

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: Right. So that other side being the Hilo side, you're on the Kona side. Now what about -- your thoughts about trying to get out or will you just stay where you are?

VON ANCKEN: Well, the first thought was, this is paradise, why leave? But, yes, we have thought about that. What does this mean for the next few days? I mean, I'm looking at a bunch of folks here from our balcony and they are leaving. Again, this could be because this is what their plans called for originally.

But there were people, as I said, who said we're going get away or we're going leave or we're going to drive away from the water, anyway. Power is out (ph)...

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: Right. And for those who are not just going to higher ground when they talk about leaving, getting out means, you know, getting to the airport and having plane activity that's under way, which I would imagine may be halted at least temporarily for now, right?

VON ANCKEN: Yes. We know that power is out to part of this island. Some of this hotel, the power is out. There are not that many flights, as you know. It's the biggest island, but when it comes to population, certainly it ranks lower. So...

WHITFIELD: So with power out where you are, no connection with radio or television activity or the outside world, so to speak?

VON ANCKEN: Right. We have one channel and that has been sporadic. I can tell you cell phone usage, it has been very difficult first -- hate to say it, I called my family, then I talked to you. I talked to my family back in the United States. And...

WHITFIELD: I'm sure they were glad to hear from you.

VON ANCKEN: They were very glad. They were very glad. They had just started to hear the reports, so of course there was concern. But they had tried to get through to me and everybody is on their phones right now.

The cell phone system is working, but because it is overloaded it is very hard to get through.

WHITFIELD: Well, we're glad you were able to get through with us. Erik Von Ancken, a reporter out of Orlando at WKMG, vacationing there on the Big Island -- on the Kona side of the Big Island when all of this happened. The U.S. Geological Survey saying an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 hitting that area. We're going to take a short break for now. More of our coverage when we come right back.

(REGULAR PROGRAMMING)

WHITFIELD: Hello again, I'm Fredericka Whitfield in Atlanta, more now on this sizable earthquake being felt along several strings of islands there in Hawaii. The epicenter is calculated to be just on the west coast of the Big Island, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Joining us now, Carlos Goulart. He is in Maui which is sandwiched right in between the most populated island of Oahu and the Big Island which is nearest the epicenter.

And so, Carlos, what did you feel just over an hour ago when this happened?

CARLOS GOULART, RESIDENT OF MAUI, HAWAII: Well, to tell you truth, I'm originally from Portugal, from the Azores Islands, and I am so used to earthquakes, not nervous at all.

WHITFIELD: Oh really.

GOULART: And of course, I lived in San Francisco, in the Bay Area, in Fremont -- city Fremont. We have some experience there, too. So, as a matter of fact, I'm not nervous.

WHITFIELD: So you know what you were feeling when it happened over an hour ago. You knew right away this is an earthquake.

GOULART: Yes. It was a strong earthquake. It was a shaky earthquake. It was a little different than from the one I experienced in the Azores Islands or even from the one in San Francisco. But, of course, the people -- I talked to some people here, they were born on the island and they were born in a place like Kula (ph). Kula is 3,000 miles up, country. And of course, it was a big experience for them.

WHITFIELD: Did you lose power where you are?

GOULART: No power, no power.

WHITFIELD: No power.

GOULART: No power in my house. No power on the island at all. Here, no, no power.

WHITFIELD: All right. And so how do you suppose people in general, your neighbors, perhaps, are reacting to this? Maybe they are not as accustomed to earthquake activity like you are?

Yes. That's right. They're a little nervous. Yes. Yes. But everything is OK. You know what I mean? As a matter of fact, I know I've seen a lot worse than this. But...

WHITFIELD: And what about structural damage? Or have you had a chance to look? GOULART: I'd look outside -- I look -- I live in the -- a new area, new homes. Everything is OK. Everything is OK in (INAUDIBLE). The worst part was up country, you know, 3,000 miles up.

WHITFIELD: OK.

GOULART: In the Kula area, it was a little different. You know, a lot of things fell from the shelves and nobody got hurt or nobody got killed yet.

WHITFIELD: Well, that's good news. Carlos Goulart, thanks so much for your time and continue to be safe there in Maui. We want to head a little further north now onto the more popularly visited by tourists island of Oahu and join Tannya Joaquin who is with KHON.

You're joining us from Honolulu. And what's your assessment?

GOULART: Pardon me?

WHITFIELD: I think Tanya should be on the line now. If Tanya Joaquin is with us, with KHON out of Honolulu.

TANNYA JOAQUIN, KHON REPORTER: Hello, can you hear me?

WHITFIELD: Hi, I can now. What's your assessment about what has taken place?

JOAQUIN: You know, it is a very interesting thing happened just after 7:00 this morning. And, of course, people here are familiar with other natural disasters, hurricanes, but earthquakes, usually they're of the smaller variety that you don't feel. So we knew that something was up this morning.

And myself, I grew up in San Francisco so it was eerily familiar to me. I knew exactly this was a big one because it had the distinct feel to that. There were at least three that you could feel within a few minutes of each other that seemed like those were distinct earthquakes and then a pretty significant aftershock around a 5.8 magnitude.

So right now we're, of course, on Oahu where the primary population base of the island chain is. We understand that the earthquake's epicenter was closer to the Big Island, but island-wide we're hearing reports of people who certainly felt the shaking this morning and suffered some minimal damage in some of the homes hundred of miles away.

To give you perspective, we're about 120 miles away from the epicenter and people's paintings were falling down. We have a lot of high-rises in Honolulu and Waikiki, as well as a lot of hotels. So there certainly was some confusion about what happened and what the next step was.

As far as getting information, though, that has been very tough to come by because communications have been all but broken off here. As soon as I felt it I knew it was a big earthquake. So I jumped in my car and ran to work.

But no phones are working. The lights are off completely around Oahu. And we're hearing that is an island-wide situation as of this point.

WHITFIELD: So when you say no phones are working, what is the means that you are able to communicate with us? Is it a landline or is it a cell phone?

JOAQUIN: We have a landline now. It has been spotty. Quickly -- now it has been just shy of two hours. So I think all of the initial calls, what was that, and the concerns, those are starting to evaporate just a little bit. So we were able to get through a little better right now.

WHITFIELD: So given your experience with earthquakes, you know, growing up in San Francisco, has your concern been that while the 6.3 earthquake took place, there was an aftershock of a 5.8, that may be others to follow?

JOAQUIN: Absolutely. You know that there's activity. And interestingly enough, maybe as a precursor to what happened here this morning, the weather here has been very bizarre this past week. We have...

WHITFIELD: In what way?

JOAQUIN: We have seen a lot of vog and extremely humid conditions for an extremely long period of time. Normally here we get some showers mixed in. But -- so, you know, right now, I mean, it might be speculation, but, of course, we do have a volcanic -- still have an active volcano on the Big Island. And lately we've been seeing the vog blow over from there. So there have been some little abnormal things happening the past few...

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: And in fact, that was going to be my next question about the volcanic activity, particularly Mount Kilauea on the Big Island. Since you are now at station, at KHON, perhaps you have access to the resources now to find out what kind of activity is taking place at this point one-and-a-half, maybe now, hours after that earthquake struck.

JOAQUIN: We have not heard anything from the national park there of anything unusual happening, although that is certainly something that people are watching. The calls we have received from the Big Island, we are hearing of some landslides there on the primary highway.

The Big Island is a lot more remote and not as built-up as Oahu. And so that is the lifeline for people getting around from the Hilo side to the Kona side. Our understanding is the earthquake was closer to the Kona side, and if you know Hawaii at all, that's where you have the priciest mansions of, really, any of the islands and also a lot of the very popular upscale hotels. So we know they do have experience with dealing with hurricanes there so we assume they have some emergency plans in motion. But we did get...

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: So -- sorry to interrupt you, but about those emergency plans then, say, you know, the airport would be shut down for a while there, particularly on the, you know, Kona side or even the Hilo side of the Big Island, how would people, if they wanted to, be able to get off the island? Would there be, as part of this emergency plan, you know, a sizable boat lift or anything like that?

JOAQUIN: At this point we really don't have anything functional like that. There are working on something. There are some cruise ships here, Norwegian cruise line that does an inter-island cruise that actually just started up last year. So I don't know if there would be any plans to put that into effect.

Right now, though, we have heard of some structural integrity problems and landslides, but no injuries or nothing of the catastrophic sort that I think that they would set into motion anything like that if it was possible.

WHITFIELD: OK. And then for the folks there in Oahu, since that is the place that a lot of tourists are most familiar with, and as you said, you know, the most populated of the string of islands, how are people behaving right now? It's daylight hours. Are they getting out of their homes? Are they driving around to kind of investigate what potential damage there may be?

JOAQUIN: A lot of questions. A lot of confusion. I myself drove in. I live about 20 minutes from the station. And no traffic lights were up and running anywhere from there. And since I got to the station, gotten called.

So no traffic lights are up and running, but people are behaving themselves, operating with a -- the four-way stop. But you see people milling around, trying to figure out what's going on. And certainly we've been bombarded at the station by people who were able to get through on their cell phones.

WHITFIELD: OK. And you know what, Tannya, we're getting a few Instant Messages from, you know, people who live -- I'm thinking now, Waimea. That is on the island of Oahu, isn't it?

JOAQUIN: Yes, correct.

WHITFIELD: OK. This Instant Message coming from at least one person that is in the Waimea area saying: "My parent's house is in shambles. They live in Waimea." She said: "Everyone in the neighborhood ran out of their homes screaming, but I think some wireless service is still iffy," which coincides with what you were saying. "It was so bad that my parents have a wood stove and the exhaust pipe actually cracked and broke."

Some of those messages, does that kind of ring true to a lot of people that you've been talking to there? JOAQUIN: On Oahu nothing of that. I think people got the fact that there was an earthquake, it is pretty big, and the automatic assumptions was the Big Island because there has been -- the talk out there as it is that we think the Big Island is due for something. So that's not all together surprising.

But Waimea certainly closer to the epicenter, and with that, we're trying to get as much information as we can from the island and deploy reporters over there as quickly as we can too, but the best information we're hearing is coming through from the national sources because none of the local media are on air right now.

Some of the radio stations are operating with a generator but basically functioning on -- the calls they do get coming through and the text messages that are finally starting to get to the sources.

WHITFIELD: So given some of those obstacles now in your way as well as in the way of some of your colleagues there. What's the objective here? How do you try to go about trying to do some reporting today to find out what's going on?

JOAQUIN: You know, in truth, we're listening to anything we can. A lot of people have been calling in, giving us their information. Interestingly enough, it has been easier getting phone calls from different states.

I received a call from someone in Texas who was concerned about her mom. Received calls from New York and Atlanta and the various national media, but locally we're out there, our reporters quickly, because we couldn't even have anyone in front of the station get through to a reporter, we just knew to come here and...

WHITFIELD: Well, Tannya, how close are you to a window or perhaps even the door where maybe you can walk out and kind of tell us what you see?

JOAQUIN: I'm right at the window here, and you know, people on Oahu at least were right across the biggest mall in the state and people are doing their normal activities. You see people walking around. It is raining right now. We had some heavy downpours earlier this morning. People have their morning Starbucks and as far as Oahu goes, people are doing their normal Sunday routine.

WHITFIELD: It sounds as though, you know, most folks are just hoping this will just blow over. And there's nothing else potentially dangerous to follow.

JOAQUIN: Yes. And concern for family members, too, because there are a lot of families who live on the various islands -- oh excuse me. I think I'm getting another call here. But yes, there are concerns from other places right now.

WHITFIELD: All right. Tannya Joaquin with KHON, joining us from Honolulu on the phone there. Thanks so much because...

JOAQUIN: Thank you. WHITFIELD: ... some of the phone reception is so spotty, whether it be landline or cell phone, we are grateful that folks are able to connect with us and tell us exactly what they're seeing after the U.S. Geological Survey says that an earthquake measuring 6.3 has struck about an hour-and-a-half ago.

The epicenter looking like it's more in the northwestern shore of the Big Island. And that's about 130 miles south of Oahu, which is the island that so many tourists are more familiar with, with the skyscrapers and the tall hotels and resort buildings which is where Honolulu is located.

So as we have heard from a number of people that we've been talking to, everything from minimal damage being reported to damage such as paintings falling down, landslides being reported in parts of the Big Island after so many people were asked on the Big Island to go to higher ground.

But, of course, the concern with that is there's also volcanic activity in higher ground on the Big Island, particularly Mount Kilauea which is an active volcano right now. But we haven't heard anything from the Park Service there that manages the Mount Kilauea to find out what kind of lava flow may or may not be taking place.

Earlier reports that there was some lava flow on the Hilo side, which is the east side of the Big Island, but so far no updates as a result of the earthquake reportedly taking place an hour-and-a-half ago. We're going to try and do a little bit more reporting and be right back with you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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