A strong earthquake, centered very near where the 2011 quake that generated a Pacific-wide tsunami, struck central Chile at 10:16 a.m HST, but poses no tsunami threat to Hawaii, officials at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center say. The quake measured 6.7 on the open richter scale.
The earthquake was centered in the ocean, 63 miles south-southwest of Copiapo, Chile at a depth of 29 1/2 miles.
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai‘i – The County of Maui Department of Planning today announced that beginning this month the County of Maui will take the lead on a grant-funded project to develop guidelines and protocols for reconstruction after natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis.
The two-year federal grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sea Grant Coastal Storms Program begins this month and totals $178,000; funds were secured in partnership with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program.
“We are well aware of the threats we face from coastal storms and hazards, yet Maui is now the very first County in the state of Hawaii – and among very few municipalities in the country – to work on developing rules governing post-disaster development, permitting and construction,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said. “The last thing anyone needs after their home is damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster is a permitting process that fails to take emergency conditions into account. Residents and homeowners should not be penalized or delayed when it comes to repairing or rebuilding after such events.”
The grant proposal noted three objectives: to raise awareness and support for pre-disaster planning; to involve remote and under-served communities; and to develop reconstruction guidelines and protocols for response and recovery. Anticipated outcomes include a “Reconstruction Guidelines and Protocols” document, a streamlined approval process for post-disaster reconstruction, and improved capacity to protect coastal resources after major coastal storm events.
Funds will be used for inter-island travel (including travel to Kauai to meet with individuals involved with the recovery efforts after Hurricanes Iwa and Iniki, as well as to Molokai and Lanai), outreach efforts, community meetings, research and consulting services. There will be opportunities for public participation.
“This study will update our County permit process to make it more responsive to natural disaster situations,” said Planning Director Will Spence. “I’d like to thank UH Sea Grant for their support of this important County initiative.”
The project is being spearheaded by local UH Sea Grant Extension Agent Tara Owens and lead Shoreline Planner Jim Buika. Additionally, a working group has already been assembled to include the County’s Department of Public Works and Civil Defense Agency.
For more information, contact Jim Buika at 270-6271.
An overloaded circuit is being blamed for fire damaging a home in Waiehu late Tuesday. At 9 p.m., Fire crews from Wailuku and Kahului were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 606 Kaae Road. A call came in for a room on fire in a single family residence, all occupants out.
Units arrived to find the fire being doused by neighbors utilizing a garden hose. Fire personnel continued extinguishment and ventilated the home. The fire was contained to one room and called extinguished at 10:32 p.m.
Investigation determined that the fire was caused by an overloaded circuit. No injuries were reported and damages were estimated to be $1,000.00. No Red Cross assistance needed.
The House Committee on Water and Land has scheduled a hearing on Saturday, February 9, 2013 regarding the abolishment of the Public Land Development Corporation or alternatives to achieve the original intent to generate revenue from public land.
In response to public frustration over the manner in which the Public Lands Development Corporation was created, how its rules were promulgated, the broad powers granted to the organization, and the lack of public input and participation in that process, the House Committee on Water and Land will be hearing bills that will either repeal the Public Land Development Corporation altogether, amend, or start from scratch and create a new agency that will provide far greater community input and oversight.
“As the Chair of Water and Land I am approaching the issue from the standpoint of repeal,” said Rep. Cindy Evans (District 7, North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “The PLDC cannot exist as is, something has to change; however, I am open to options and the most compelling argument will move forward.”
Rep. Nicole Lowen (District 6, Kailua-Kona) Vice-Chair of the Committee on Water and Land stated, “My community has expressed serious concerns about the PLDC, particularly about exemptions from planning, zoning and environmental laws. This legislation was passed with very little public oversight the first time around, and, this time, the public deserves to have a voice in the political process.”
“The people I have spoken with on Maui who understand the implications of PLDC support a full repeal. While I recognize the need for increased DLNR revenue and improved public land efficiencies, we must achieve these goals without posing a threat of undermining public input or skirting environmental regulations” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (District 11, South Maui). “The people, especially on the neighbor islands, are saying “try again” – we, as lawmakers, need to listen to them.”
HONOLULU – Governor Neil Abercrombie announced the release of $96,000 in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funds for infrastructure repairs and upgrades on Honoapiilani Highway and the Intersection of Kaanapali Parkway and Halelo Street.
The funds secured by Representative McKelvey (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) last session were released by the Administration as part of a cooperative effort between the Legislature and Governor to address critical infrastructure needs in areas of high traffic to improve safety and efficiency.
The roadways which will be receiving attention are essential for both visitor and commuter traffic in the Kaanapali area,” said Rep. McKelvey. “This funding is necessary not only to improve traffic flow, but most importantly, to ensure the safety of our community at one of the busiest intersections in West Maui,” he continued. “It pleased me to see the Governor recognize the need for repairing Honoapiilani Highway and the intersection of Kaanapali and Halelo and I hope the State continues to appreciate the importance of West Maui.”
HONOLULU – A Coast Guard aircraft crew was targeted by an individual with a laser pointer while flying into Kahului Airport on Maui, Monday night.
The lased HC-130H Hercules aircraft crew was conducting training at the time of the incident. The lasing forced the crew to return to Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, on Oahu. The crew’s copilot was the only one affected, compromising his ability to fly the aircraft.
“Whether this was a malicious, or just irresponsible act, it is critical that the public be made aware of the seriousness of lasing an aircraft,” said Lt. Casey Corpe, Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point public affairs officer. “Not only does it risk the health of the aircrew, it can seriously delay response times during rescue missions, risking the lives of the people that need help the most.”
Laser pointers can cause glare, afterimage, flash blindness or temporary loss of night vision, which poses a danger to the crew. If any aircrew member’s vision is compromised during a flight, Coast Guard flight rules dictate that the aircraft must abort their mission. This hinders the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to people in distress, conduct training, and other essential missions.
Additionally, aircrew members are taken off flight duty until cleared by a flight surgeon before flying again.
According to a Food and Drug Administration Consumer Safety Alert, overpowered green laser pointers may have been modified to emit more radiation than originally intended. These overpowered green laser pointers are a serious concern because they can cause permanent eye damage. The FDA regulates the manufacture of laser products.
It is a federal crime, as well as violation of most states’ laws, to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. People witnessing this crime are strongly encouraged to call 911 immediately to report the incident.
For more information contact Lt. Casey Corpe at 808-682-2750.
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