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HI tallies quake damage

The mid-October earthquake in Hawaii destroyed or severely damaged more than 180 homes, and state officials say assessments are still ongoing.

BY HEATHER MOYER | HONOLULU, Hawaii | November 28, 2006

The mid-October earthquake in Hawaii destroyed or severely damaged more than 180 homes, and state officials say assessments are still ongoing.

The October 15 earthquake was magnitude 6.7 and caused damage on all of the Hawaiian islands. "Besides those 183 homes destroyed or with major damage, there are still many, many more that suffered some other type of damage," said Dave Curtis, spokesperson for Hawaii State Civil Defense. "And that number does not include businesses. Those numbers are still being assembled."

Curtis also estimated that few residents had earthquake insurance. "We do have quakes around here all the time, but they're very small - maybe (magnitude) 1.5 or so. This one was much larger. Those are unusual here."

The state received a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster declaration, and Hawaii County also received an individual assistance declaration to provide help to families in need. "We've had over 3,000 applicants so far," said Katie Corsaut, a spokesperson for FEMA. "FEMA has approved about $7.5 million in assistance to individuals."

The United Church of Christ (UCC) National Disaster Ministries is also helping raise funds for the affected families, as well as for five UCC churches damaged during the earthquake. The Kalahikiola Congregational Church suffered damages that could cost more than $1 million to repair. That church's parsonage was also severely damaged. More than $10,000 has already been raised by the UCC to help the congregations and members with damage to their own homes.

The Hawaii Conference of the UCC also continues to work closely with the state chapter of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to address the needs of residents.


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