WAILUKU - American Red Cross officials on Wednesday continued to help Molokai residents who had their homes pushed off foundations and sustained other damage during last week's tsunami.
"Caseworkers are still working with them, making sure they have the appropriate resources," said Michele Liberty, Maui County director of the American Red Cross.
The agency was helping by providing residents with food and clothing, among other things, she said.
Last week’s tsunami damaged the enclosed lanai of this two-story East Molokai home near the shoreline and off Kamehameha V Highway. The wave surge struck the patio wall, which faces the ocean, and knocked it down along with its windows and other fixtures. Carpet, furniture and workout equipment also were damaged, police said.
Maui Police Department / STAFFORD CAPARIDA photo
Molokai resident Lee Mott returned home to his flooded yard on Molokai’s east end on Friday morning. The water did not reach his home, which is on the mauka side of Kamehameha V Highway.
LEE MOTT photo
Molokai police reported that the tsunami damaged at least eight homes, including one that was lifted off of its concrete slab and moved 10 feet and another that sustained structural damage when it was picked up off the ground, rotated and moved several feet.
Other residents had their homes' patios and vehicles destroyed and lost furniture, appliances and personal items. Police said the damage occurred on the east end of Molokai.
Many ancient fishponds were also damaged by the tsunami, police said.
Molokai resident Lee Mott was surprised at how far the water had traveled to his home in Mapulehu, which is 15 miles east of Kaunakakai.
Mott said his home wasn't damaged, but he saw about a foot of water ponding in his driveway when he went home Friday morning.
He said he was lucky that the only cleanup work he had to do was clearing debris from his yard.
But Mott said the water traveled over a 3-foot-high fishpond wall, then over the Kamehameha V Highway, and continued another 460 feet to his property. The water stopped about 40 feet short of his home.
During the Feb. 27, 2010, tsunami threat from the 8.8-magnitude Chilean earthquake, the water never rose up to the wall of the fishpond, he said. The strength of the Japan earthquake was put at magnitude 9.0.
When Mott saw on television how large the tsunami was in Japan, he decided to move to higher ground last week Thursday night.
"I think when I left here, I had that gut feeling this could be it. That was a pretty massive tidal wave in Japan," Mott said via telephone from his home Wednesday.
Liberty said Red Cross officials have been working with state and county civil defense officials to assess damage.
On Wednesday, Baldwin Beach Park was reopened around 9:30 a.m. The tsunami waves flooded the park's pavilion and parking areas Friday. Since then, nearly all of the pools of water have evaporated except for a section of the parking lot closest to the shore. Park officials have barricaded that area until it dries out, the county said.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.