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Hawaii Recovers from Major Quake

October 16, 2006 By: Camie Foster Travel Agent

Honolulu—Hotels, airports and other major elements of Hawaii's visitor infrastructure were up and running Monday morning, the day after an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale shook the islands. The quake, centered near the Big Island, caused power outages and some damage, but there were no serious injuries. As of Monday morning, power had been restored to most parts of the island chain, with the only pockets still affected in residential areas. Flights on Sunday were disrupted—among the challenges were conducting TSA screenings by hand, which was much more time-consuming than the standard procedures using screening equipment. In all, 14 domestic and longhaul flights were canceled, Rod Haraga, director of the state Department of Transportation, told TRAVEL AGENT Monday morning. He said the carriers were doubling up on flights on Monday and advised passengers to contact their carriers before heading to the airport. As for hotels, operations are normal statewide, says Marsha Wienert, Gov. Linda Lingle's state tourism liaison. She says that several hotels on the Big Island are slated to undergo structural assessments on Monday, but at this point there is no noticeable impact even at those properties on guests. Hawaii's roadways also are open for the most part. Hana Highway on Maui, temporarily closed because of a mudslide, has been reopened. On the Big Island, crews will be inspecting bridges on the coastal Akoni Pule Highway between Kawaihae and Hawi on Monday, Haraga says. And in Honokaa, traffic on the belt road is being diverted to a temporary bypass road because of a sinkhole, Haraga says. Wienert says situation updates will be posted on the home pages of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau [] and the Hawaii Tourism Authority [].

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