Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Marooned

This used to be a beach. Behind it was a large Hawaiian fish pond - basically it was a beach and behind it a large lagoon. I walked along the beach a few days before the Japan earthquake and tsunami to take a couple of the pictures here and here.

I took Pam to the Waikoloa Beach Marriott for a few days because she couldn't come along for a conference I attended there at the beginning of the month although that was the original plan. When we arrived I asked one of the hotel staff members if they had any damage from the tsunami and they said the beach had gone but other than that there was no damage. Other places on the Kona coast were less lucky: one very popular hotel has had to shut down due to damage and it's not clear if it will open again. Many houses were severely damaged or destroyed and one was see floating in the ocean in Captain Cook. Damage here is estimated at several tens of millions of dollars but it is hard to write this given the catastrophe in Japan. Due to the advance warning the Hawaiian Islands received, no one was killed here and as far as I know there was only one injury.

Hawaii will likely see a significant financial hit over the next few months as tourism from Japan plays a large part in our economy. Jobs have already been lost due to the immediate effects of the tsunami and I suspect more will be lost as the effects propagate over time. As I've already mentioned though, there is no comparison between what has happened here and the disaster in Japan. My heart still sinks whenever I see pictures and video from there. It's simply beyond belief what that country experienced and continues to do so.

4 comments:

Susan in the Boonies said...

Thank you for fulfilling my request for more info on what you see over there that is a result of the tsunami.

Your pictures reflect a terrible beauty.

It will be interesting to see if your tourism suffers as a result of the tragedy in Japan. I can well imagine where it might.

ladyfi said...

Natural disasters affect us all...

The magic and wonder of these shots is mind-blowing!

boo said...

Wow - Those are powerful pictures when one knows their significance. I am sad about the KVR and very much hope they recover. The blessing for Hawai'i is that the losses weren't human (this time). Such tragedy in Japan!

Tom said...

Susan - I don't think there's any doubt tourism will be hit - flights from Japan are already down, understandably so. I don't think the damage on the island will affect tourism directly though.

Ladyfi - yep - any major disaster will always have a knock-on effect around the world. It's not always easy to identify but think this one will. There are already too many knee-jerk reactions around the world to the Japan disaster unfortunately.

Boo - yes, I hope the KVR recovers as well. Never stayed there but have heard so many good things about it. Lots of very loyal employees as well that have worked there for years if not decades. I hope something can be worked out.