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Another hurricane, Iniki, continues devastating legacy.

Devastation, in the form of Hurricane Iniki, swept Hawaii last week leaving the island of Kauai battered and devastated--less than a month after Hurricane Andrew's brutal and destructive spin through south Florida and coastal Louisiana. Iniki devastated Kauai, with up to 180 mph winds--knocking out a $1 billion annual tourist industry.

As if Kauai's situation is not bad enough, as The Weekly went to press, the residents of Kauai were the victims of heavy rains and floodings, just like the National Weather Service predicted. All this less than one week after Hurricane Iniki slammed into the island.

Heavy rains hit Kauai and neighboring islands last week as remnants of Tropical Storm Orlene trampled through the Pacific. Virtually all of the hotels in Kauai's main city of Lihue were destroyed and mayy remain closed for up to one year. Major damage to Kauai's crops will have short and long-term economic impacts throughout the state.

Federal aid came quickly to Kauai. However, the road to recovery is expected to take longer than South Florida's and Louisiana's because Kauai is such a remote island and very dependent on the mainland for supplies. Lumber and rebuilding materials are greatly needed as 8,000 homeless residents prepare to rebuild.

Russell Kudo, legislative aide to Honolulu Congresswoman Patsy Mink, said it is nearly impossible to dial into the island, with Hawaii's Civil Defense maintaining the main working telephone line to supply its emergency operations. As a result, Kudo said about 14 public telephone stations have been set up on the island for calling out only. Residents are standing in long lines to make limited calls to let friinds and loved ones know they are safe. Most communication is being done through couriers.

Kudo said disaster relief centers were scheduled to open on last Thursday. The Weekly will provide information on how to contact the relief centers as that information becomes available.

Scattered reports from the island indicate few injuries and no reported deaths from Hurricane Iniki. However, most of the islands' 10,000 homes were damaged from the hurricane. According to reports in the Washington Post, Iniki has forced the unemployment rate in Kauai to sky-rocket from 5 percent before the hurricane hit to about 50 percent currently.

According to the New York Times, Lihue, experienced destruction to most of its buildings forcing the Emergency Operation Center to relocate after the collapse of the main governement building.

A stream of cargo planes landed on the tropical island of Kauai on the Saturday and Sunday after the hurricane hit. The military flights carried generators, communications equipment and food and water to aid residents and tourists.

Residents, tourists and volunteers have been reported busy at clearing sugar cane and other agriculture fields as well as starting the lenghty process of rebuilding homes and buildings. While federal assistance is aid to be making quick efforts toward restoring Kauai, residents will need volunteers and supplies for a long time to come.

To make monetary contributions only contact: The American Red Cross (808) 734-2101. For all others donations contact: The Salvation Army (808) 988-2163.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Baker, Denise
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 21, 1992
Words:513
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