“Members Rally after Quake Strikes Hawaiian Islands,” Liahona, Mar. 2007, N7
The magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck the Hawaiian Islands early in the morning of Sunday, October 15, 2006, caused minor damage to the Kona Hawaii Temple and several meetinghouses, according to early estimates.
The temblor, which hit at about 7:07 a.m. local time, was centered 10 miles (16 km) north-northwest of Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii and was felt throughout the islands, causing power outages on Oahu. On the Big Island, power was knocked out for several hours, and roads, bridges, and many other structures were damaged.
The Kona Hawaii Temple, located in Kailua-Kona, had some chandelier damage and other minor damage, but the temple was open for patrons two days later, according to Elder Eric B. Shumway, an Area Seventy and president of BYU–Hawaii. No members or missionaries were hurt, but all the meetinghouses on the Big Island received some damage, Elder Shumway added.
Elder Shumway noted that emergency and disaster plans quickly fell into place after the quake. “How wonderful it is to see members of the Church rallying together,” he said.
Aley K. Auna Jr., president of the Kona Hawaii Stake, said he was most impressed with the reaction of priesthood leaders and members to the stake’s emergency plans, which included a plan for an earthquake measuring 6.5 or higher. He said all stake members were immediately “contacted and confirmed safe.”
At the time of this report, President Auna explained that assessments of the structural safety of stake buildings were still underway, noting that the Kohala Ward meetinghouse, in the community nearest the epicenter, had some cracks in the walls and damaged lighting fixtures. Some significant damage occurred at the Keei Ward meetinghouse when a satellite dish toppled from its base and damaged a corner of the missionary quarters located on the grounds. In addition, some false ceilings in the meetinghouse fell.
On Oahu, there was no damage reported to the Laie Hawaii Temple, and other than power outages, no damages have been reported from BYU–Hawaii or the adjacent Polynesian Cultural Center.
Adapted from Church News, October 21, 2006.