18 Oct 2006

Hawaii quake damage exceeds US$40m

4:26 pm on 18 October 2006

Preliminary estimates show that this week's 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Hawaii, the most powerful in the state in two decades, caused more than 40 million US dollars in damage.

Hawaiian officials say they expect the figure to rise as Red Cross, federal emergency teams and engineers scour the islands to assess damages to roads, bridges, schools and other buildings.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported in the quake but repeated aftershocks have jolted Hawaiians as they struggle to return to normal.

The biggest, which measured four on the Richter scale, hit the state early today.

Hawaii's Big Island bore the brunt of the damage.

Seven schools were badly hit and the port of Kawaihae has been closed.

The island's historic Hulihee Palace, which houses artefacts dating to the days before Western contact, was also badly hit.