Tourists share quake tales as flights resume
Operations at Honolulu Airport were back to normal yesterday with airlines following regular schedules.
This is after thousands of travelers were stranded here on Sunday because of the 12-hour power failure caused by a 6.7-magnitude earthquake near Kohala on the Big Island.
Diana Flax said they were on the cruise boat Pride of Aloha when the first quake struck Sunday.
Her son, Warren Flax, said they were supposed to leave on American Airlines Flight 72 at 4:20 p.m. Sunday, but the power failure caused the flight to be rescheduled until 8:30 yesterday morning.
The Flaxes were back at the airport at 5 a.m. and joined the lines of fellow travelers in the same predicament. The lines snaked out to the road.
"We were supposed to spend a day in Chicago," said Oliver Flax. "Now we will have just enough time to make our connection to Miami."
Alan and Joanne Reed of Studio City, Calif., said there was no comparison between Sunday's Big Island earthquake and the 1994 Northridge California one.
Joanne Reed recalled that the 1994 earthquake was longer and more violent.
She said that they had two large glass doors that "blew open. It was really frightening."
"The water was shut off," she said, "and we did lose power but it wasn't that long."
Alan Reed said, "It was some experience to be without electricity for more than 12 hours."
The Reeds and their children were staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village when the quake struck.
"It woke me up," Joanne Reed added, "but he slept through it. The tower we were in was swaying."
They spent part of Sunday at the airport since one of their children was supposed to leave.
"There was no air conditioning. There were no lights because the electricity was out. There were literally bodies lying all over the place," said Alan Reed, who along with Joanne returned to the interisland terminal yesterday to catch a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Kona to resume their vacation.
Kunal Desai was forced to extend his two-week stay because of the earthquake and the ensuing power failure. "I am from California. It was nothing new. I slept through it," Desai said.
Desai waited for three hours on Sunday before Aloha Airlines canceled the 12:45 flight to Orange County in Southern California. He was rebooked to leave yesterday afternoon.