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On October 15, 2006, at 7:07am (local time), an earthquake rated at roughly 6.7 on the Richter Scale struck near the Kona/Waikoloa side of the Big Island, the largest and southernmost island of the Hawaiian chain, followed by a 6.0 aftershock.  Witnesses recount that the earthquake lasted 'about a minute' . No deaths have been reported. Structural damage was reported on the Big Island, although the island of Oahu, where Lost films, was distant enough to report only minor damage. A Pacific Basin-wide tsunami alert was raised and subsequently dismissed very quickly by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. In later examination of records, a 4-inch tsunami was measured in the nearby Kawaihae Harbor of the Big island .
Approximately 20 minutes after the main quake, the entire island of Oahu experienced a power outage, as well as parts of the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai. Power on Oahu was completely restored by 1:55am , with isolated exceptions . On the Big Island, there were several landslides and damaged roadways, as well as evacuations reported by two local hospitals , as well as various homeowners . On October 17 Governor Linda Lingle officially declared a disaster, and President Bush declared a "major disaster." By October 18, damage estimates on the Big Island reached $74 million, and federal aid was still delayed .
Impact upon the production of Lost
The impact of the earthquake and its aftermath upon the production of Lost appears to be negligible. Grass Skirt Productions, Lost's production company, normally does not film on weekends, and was not filming on the Sunday of the earthquake. Power has been restored on Oahu where Lost is filmed, and the locations film crews are largely powered by their own portable generators. In contrast to the damaged bridges and roads on the Big Island , Oahu's transportation infrastructure appears to have emerged unscathed, and structural damage appears to be minimal. While there has been no specific news on the condition of Lost's soundstage facilities at Hawaii Film Studio, most locations slated for filming are therefore probably unaffected, and delays in episode production are unlikely.
Film crew "basecamp" signs (see photo) have been spotted the Monday morning of October 16, so filming appears not to have been delayed on the day after the earthquake. Later in the day, an ABC spokesperson confirmed to Broadcasting & Cable that Lost was proceeding as scheduled . Jorge Garcia has reportedly posted thank you notes to concerned fans in the VIP section of The Fuselage forums.
The Manoa Valley Inn, a filming location for Lost on numerous occasions , suffered a collapse of its exterior stone chimney . Although several people were home at the time of the quake, no one was injured. However the structural damage was not covered by insurance .
- ABC news
- San Diego Tribune
- USGS - Specific information on the earthquake
- KITV - Story referencing past Lost set location: Historic Manoa Home Seriously Damaged in Quake
- Insurance Journal - Note on lack of earthquake insurance for the Manoa Valley Inn and nearly all other affected homeowners
- Hawaii Tribune-Herald - photo gallery from a Big Island newspaper site