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THE EARTHQUAKE POTENTIAL
Earthquakes occur frequently in Hawaii. Our island home is in a volcanic and tectonically active region with rifts, faults and fissures cutting through every one of the major islands. The tectonic process of the earth's moving crust builds stresses along the faults. This sudden release of stress causes earthquakes on land and undersea. Volcanic activity on the Big Island also creates minor tremors. Representative faults, zones and recorded earthquake epicenters are shown in the chart below.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN AN EARTHQUAKE
During an earthquake, the "solid" earth moves like the deck of a ship. The actual movement of the ground, however, is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most casualties result from partial or total building collapse, falling objects, debris and shattering glass. Earthquakes may also trigger landslides, cause fires, and generate tsunamis (seismic sea waves).
If you feel a strong earthquake that makes you grab on to something to keep upright, and you are located in a tsunami inundation area, head for high ground. Don't wait for an announcement from Civil Defense. A locally generated tsunami leaves little time for warning. Act immediately!
The unique nature of the earthquake threat and potential disruption of life in Hawaii calls for pre- paredness actions at all levels...government, volunteer and private sector.
BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE
Check your home for potential hazards at least annually.
HAVE ON HAND...
DURING AN EARTHQUAKE
First of all, stay calm. If you are inside, stay inside. If outdoors. stay there. In earthquakes, most injuries occur as people are entering or leaving buildings.If indoors, take cover under a heavy desk, table, bench, or along an inside wall. Stay away from glass. Don't use candles, matches or other open flame during or after the tremor because of possible gas leaks.
If in a moving car, pull over and stop as quickly as safety permits, but stay in the vehicle. Do not stop or park under or on an overpass or bridge. A car may sway violently on its springs, but it is a good place to stay until the shaking stops. When you drive on, watch for hazards created by the earthquake like fallen objects, downed electric wires or blocked roadways.
AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE
BE READY TO RESPOND.
Source: State Civil Defense pamphlet HE OLA`I - Earthquakes in Hawaii, with slight modifications by Oahu Civil Defense.
Be prepared to bring your personal tools, special equipment and supplies. Free training for our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is available. Contact the Deptarment of Emergency Management at 723-8960 for more information.
|Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 26, 2009|