Hey, Mother Nature! What’s Shakin’, Baby?

The weather here on Maui today was mostly sunny, with temperatures in the upper 70s where I live at about 1000 feet elevation. Down at sea level it was probably four or five degrees warmer. There was a nice breeze. Our trade winds blow out of the northeast probably 350 days of the year. So we tend to take our very nice, usually benign weather for granted. 

But not everyone. Years ago, I worked as the PR person at the Honolulu Museum of Art. I remember passing one of the curators in a gallery one morning and greeted him with “How’s it going, Lou”, in a kind of off hand way. “Fine,” he said, “except it’s another one of these goddam beautiful days.” He was originally from Minnesota which, I guess, explains it.

Every so often, however, we are reminded rather forcefully that there are such things as tropical storm that can dump rain in vast quantities, as Flossie did a dozen days ago. Then there are the rare monster hurricanes that come along every 15 or 20 years and blow down all the sophisticated equipment that’s supposed to tell us how strong the winds are.

Most of the time, earthquakes occur and almost no one notices. Each little square marks a recent earthquake on the Island of Hawaii where the Kilauea volcano has been continuously erupting for just over 30 years.

This morning, as a matter of fact, we were reminded that we’re all living on volcanic islands. There were two earthquakes, both originating on the island of Hawaii – we call it simply the Big Island – which we felt here on Maui, a little more than 100 miles away. The first one checked in at 5:54 a.m. and scored a 4.8. My wife and I both slept right through it. The second one was about a quarter of an hour later. It was a magnitude 4.6 and this time my wife was joggled awake. Once again, I missed it.

Turns out there was no major damage reported, either here or over on the Big Island. So we all pretty much went back to enjoying another one of our goddam beautiful days.