Maui News

Governor Gets First Hand Look at Maui Tsunami Damage

March 15, 2011, 5:26 PM HST
* Updated March 16, 5:37 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Mayor Alan Arakawa joins Governor Neil Abercrombie in his site visit of Maalaea Harbor following Friday's tusnami surges that sunk several boats on the Valley Isle. Photo courtesy County of Maui.

The cost of cleanup continues to rise as assessments are made of tsunami swept areas across the state.  Today, Governor Neil Abercrombie visited both Maui and the Big Island to better assess the dollar amount he had initially projected to be in the tens-of-millions.

The visit included stops at Honokohau Harbor, Kealakekua Bay and Hulihe’e Palace on the Big Island.  Here on Maui, the Governor made a site visit to Ma’alaea Harbor where several boats sustained damage in tsunami surges early Friday morning.

In an exclusive interview with the Mayor this week, he said the biggest damages in the county were at the harbors where boats sank, piers were damaged, and surges passed the breakwater.

“The harbor is like a bowl, everything concentrates in it and it gets banged around,” said Mayor Arakawa.

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Officials from the governor’s office say that estimate is expected to climb following seismic assessments.

Governor Neil Abercrombie and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa take a break for lunch during the Governor's site visit of damaged areas on Maui and the Big Island. Photo courtesy County of Maui.

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The governor signed a supplementary proclamation on Sunday, expanding the initial Disaster Proclamation he issued on Friday. The document is the first step in the process of seeking and receiving federal funds for recovery efforts.

Maui residents and businesses that sustained damage in the tsunami surges are reminded to turn in their survey assessment to the Maui Civil Defense Agency by this Friday, March 18, 2011.  The survey can be accessed at the following link on the County of Maui’s website: http://countysurvey.co.maui.hi.us/Checkbox/Survey.aspx?s=3674676e1ea049739e7b2671af3207f0.

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-oRPsxSp2s /] The tsunami was the result of a large magnitude earthquake that shook Japan at 7:46 p.m. HST on March 10, 2011. A series of tsunami waves began impacting Hawaii shorelines early Friday morning on March, 11, 2011.

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