Lost homes, sunken boats and damaged piers caused tsunami damage estimates to jump into the tens of millions of dollars Monday.
The rough estimate combines damage to homes, businesses, hotels, boats, piers and government infrastructure.
The most serious damages were near Kealakekua Bay and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Haleiwa and Keehi Lagoon on Oahu, as well as areas of Maui and Molokai, also lost significant value.
At least 25 boats sank at Keehi Lagoon, and an undetermined number of homes may have been destroyed along the Big Island’s west coast beyond the two previously reported, including one that floated out to sea.
No one was killed or injured during the tsunami, which arrived in Hawaii early Friday morning as a result of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan.
“It’s in the millions in terms of property, but it’s very small in terms of personal injury and deaths. Of course, we’re very, very fortunate,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Additional losses may pile up because thousands of Japanese tourists have already canceled vacations to Hawaii since the tsunami, dealing a crushing blow to the state’s tourism-dependent economy.
“The economic consequences will be severe for us,” Abercrombie said. “It’s going to be terrible. It’s going to be rough. It’s something we have to come to grips with.”
He said he would call the state Council on Revenues back into session to revise last week’s forecast, which already put the state government’s projected shortfall at nearly $1 billion over the next two years.
Hawaii residents and businesses have sustained enough financial harm that the state should qualify for federal assistance, including low-interest recovery loans through the Small Business Administration and other associations, he said.
It will take months to clear debris from piers and the ocean floor, and much longer to repair damaged shorelines, said Ed Underwood, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation administrator for the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
At least 200 boats at Keehi Lagoon on Oahu were damaged when their floating docks broke loose, pushing them out to sea and then pulling them back in when waves crashed toward shore. Everyone who lives on their boats appears to have survived, he said.
“We don’t have any deaths that we’re aware of. We’ve accounted for all the live aboards. We don’t feel like we’re going to find anybody in a boat, thank God,” Underwood said.
Government property damage on Oahu alone reached $3.3 million Monday, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The department didn’t have figures for the neighbor islands.
About 200 fish were found dead at Keehi Lagoon and Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, possibly because of gas and oil spills, he said.
Divers for the state will survey the ocean floor off the Big Island on Tuesday.
Abercrombie also is visiting areas damaged by the tsunami on Tuesday.
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