Hawaii business sees major damage after eruption in Tonga sends tsunami waves

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Honolulu (KHON2) —The eruption of a submarine volcano in Tonga on Saturday caused a tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, producing ash erupting above the surface of the water on satellite images. The eruption prompted Hawaii’s tsunami recommendations, with a two-foot surge in some areas.

A local company in Kailua-Kona was severely damaged, losing about 80% of its inventory and equipment. Seaquest Hawaii Co-owners Manu and Liam Powers said they were shocked when they arrived.

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Manu said he arrived at the office around 4:45 am on Saturday after receiving a call from a resident of Keauhou Bay who heard the turmoil. Their 288-gallon propane tank was torn from its mounts and plumbing and carried across the yard.

“When we arrived at the office and saw it across the outdoor waiting room, we knew we were in trouble,” Manu said.

According to her, the total damage is about $ 75,000, which does not include furniture, equipment damage, electronics, cleaning costs, or the cost of professionally cleaning and disinfecting the building. Beyond that, she added that 80% of their retail products-everything from sunscreen to handmade jewelry and wall art-were damaged.

“We donated anything that could be easily washed away. We will donate more if we have the opportunity to wash off body products and wash apparel,” says Manu. “We are doing a fair amount of money in retail and most of it has been lost.”

Added to the list are the major appliances that have been destroyed. Refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, ice makers, dishwashers, POS systems, shelf units, phones, printers and even tour snacks.

“All the consumables we have carefully thrown away,” Manu said.

After such a hit, Manu said they needed to recover as soon as possible, so they resumed their rafting and snorkeling adventure business on Sunday.

“Almost all staff spent 12 hours [Saturday] To expose the studs, the drywall is cleaned, rinsed, sorted and finally cut to a height of 2 feet. It was intense and productive, “explained Manu. “The spouse has arrived. The children have arrived. It was very moving.”

The community has also emerged to show their support, which Manu calls “very typical of Kona.”

“The wife of the couple team who owns Magic’s Beach Grill has appeared with coffee and pastries. See if Keauhou Canoe Cub can help and I can contact countless people directly. “I did,” says Manu. ..

The SeaQuest Hawaii Tour is open as usual, but the office remains closed for disinfection. The retreat, which was hit by an ongoing pandemic, has caused the family business to experience a decline again.

“The last two years have been very stressful,” Manu explained. “The closure of our business and the suspension of income, followed by the shortage of employees and the inconsistency of the tourism industry, was very difficult to manage. Follow it at Omicron and now this? Now it’s pretty complicated. It’s a difficult situation. We know we’re luckier than many, but there are limits to what the family business can handle. ”

Manu admits that “this loss will hurt,” but she sheds light on her being very supportive of the community during the pandemic, and now after the disaster.

“I can’t ask for their help anymore. We’ll be fine,” Manu said. “This was a big setback, but we’re back.”

Manu adds that he is trying to split the donation between Goodwill and Memory Lane. Items range from hats, books, baby blankets, toys to jewelry, candles, sunscreen and lotions.

According to Manu, Memory Lane is a local second-hand store, and all proceeds from the sale will be used to support the Nakamaru Hale Hospice Home where his mother was staying.

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“Before she died in 2014, I always promised her to help Hale through a donation to Memory Lane,” Manu said. “The tsunami struck the day after my mother’s 77th birthday. I’m glad I made a lot of donations. I think it’s a silver lining!”

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