15 October 2006

Shaken ... Not Stirred

Most of the major Hawaiian Islands were shaken out of bed this morning at 0707L (no lie) to a 6.7 magnitude earthquake which was centered several miles off of the northwest coast of the Big Island. It was followed by a 6.0 aftershock less than 10 minutes later. Air-wise ... all Hawai‘i airports are open, though many lack full power. KOA and OGG report damage to buildings. All TSA searches, and check-ins, are being done manually.

In the photo above, passengers were forced to board (and deplane) via stairs, and baggage loaded (and unloaded) manually. This Delta 767-432ER was forced to take a different gate spot, at Gate 9, on the United terminal, from its normal spots on the west side of the Center Concourse. The America West 757-2G7 (the teal tail in the background), which normally parks on the west half of HNL, was re-assigned to the United side as well, at Gate 11.

Flights were delayed for several hours, and some airlines even canceled flights. The north ramp hardstand was used as a holding point for airliners that were awaiting their next segment. As soon as a flight landed and unloaded, it was towed to the hardstands. In the mid-afternoon, HNL was turned into a parking lot as arriving flights from the mainland were forced to wait on Taxiway A, abeam the north ramp, and the Diamond Head Concourse. Once full power was restored, delayed outbound passengers and flights began an exodus from all of the airports. Listening to my scanner later in the evening, HNL Tower was abuzz, as the airport worked to get operations back to normal.

The Honolulu Advertiser coverage.

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