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Table of the November 29, 1975 Earthquake Intensity

The following information was compiled from felt reports to estimated relative intensities associated with the November 29, M7.7 earthquake. The maximum intensity of VIII occurred in the southeastern part of Hawaiʻi island, in Hilo, Puna, and Volcano. Earthquake intensity reflects the observed physical effects and damage related to local ground shaking as described in the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. Intensity differs from magnitude, which is calculated from data obtained by instrumentation. (from Tilling et al, 1976 Earthquakes and Related Catastrophic Events, Island of Hawaii, November 29, 1975: A Preliminary Report; U.S. Geological Survey Circular 740.)

Hilo V - VIII Extensive damage in downtown area. Minor cracks in road, water pipes, concrete walls and floors, plaster. Minor cracks and floor-to-wall separations a few millimeters wide and bowing of the walls were observed in steel-reinforced concrete structures at the hospital, several schools, and libraries. Some of these buildings had 5 to10 mm vertical drops in some floor sections.Churches in Hilo reported damage to a pipe organ. There were cracks in hollow tile blocks and breaks in a swimming pool and water lines. Hotels, apartments, and business buildings suffered structural and equipment damage. Shelved items in markets fell or tumbled over. Fifty-one home owners in Hilo reported loss due to broken water pipes, windows, plate glass, water gutters; cracks in concrete walls and steps; cupboards torn away from walls and breakage of chinaware; collapse of stone walls and fences; plumbing damage and cesspool cave-ins, house and garage shifting from foundation, doors and doorways distorted: leaks in roofs, minor ground cracks, chipping of ceramic tile floors; collapse of stairways; cracking or crumbling of brick fireplace chimneys.
Puna (Volcano, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park)
VII - VIII Extensive ground cracking caused heavy road damage in the National Park. On the Crater Rim Drive, damage was reported at Waldron Ledge, Kīlauea Military Camp, Halemaʻumaʻu, and Keanakākoʻi sections. Damage was noted on the Chain of Craters, ʻĀinahou, and Hilina Pali Roads. Water tanks at the Youth Conservation Corps and Kīpuka Nēnē were damaged. Waterlines in several areas broke. Fireplace chimneys at Kīlauea Military Camp and at a residential home in Volcano collapsed. About three wooden water tanks were destroyed, and several others were partially damaged at Volcano. At the Volcano Observatory, violent ground motion lasted about half a minute, many loose objects moved or turned over, sounds were heard from rockfalls in crater and water sloshing in water tank.
Puna (Kalapana) VII - VIII A wood frame house shifted 1 m from foundation. One water tank damaged. Many small road cracks. Residents reported strong shaking. Loose objects fell off shelves.
(Kapoho) VII - VIII Minor cracks and small rockfalls from walls of cinder cones.
(Kurtistown) VII - VIII Damage to seven residential homes--cracked concrete steps, house and garage moved from foundation, 10-cm wall separation, roof separation, chinaware broken from falling out of cupboards. Rock wall damaged.
(ʻOpihikao) VII - VIII Two water tanks at a church destroyed.
(Pāhoa) VII - VIII Three homes moved from foundation. Other damage included a broken waterline, collapsed water tank, and toolshed.
(Glenwood VII - VIII Loose objects fell off shelves, water splashed out of fish bowl.
(Mountain view) VII - VIII Floor of water tank cracked; plexiglass cracked, television set shifted off stand and fell to the floor, rock wall damaged.
(Hawaiian Paradise Park) VII - VIII One house shifted off foundation; cabinets toppled off walls.
(Black Sands Subdivision) VII - VIII Damage reports from two homes. One house dropped 7.5 cm; walls cracked, loose objects fell. At other residence, water tank fell and house beams cracked.
(Hawaiian Beaches) VII - VIII A garage concrete slab cracked.
Kaʻū VI - VII In Nāʻālehu, foundation to one ranch house cracked and roof damaged. One homeowner in Pahala reported doors distorted, house moved from concrete foundation, furniture and stereo fell.
Hāmākua V - VI Landslides on coast road at Laupahoehoe and Honomu; loose objects fell off shelves. Heavy rolling ground motion.
Kona V - VI Loose objects fell off shelves; strong shaking.
Hōlualoa V Landslides reported along steep roadcuts. Hanging objects and small loose objects in home moved.
Honokaʻa Police Station V No damage, rolling sensation and few objects moved. Possibly very small cracks in hollow tile structure.
Hoʻolehua (Molokaʻi) V Moderate ground shaking and movement of unstable objects.
Kealakekua V Strong shaking and rockfalls along steep cliffs at Kealakekua Bay.
Mauna Loa Observatory V No structural damage, all equipment still in operation, no damage to water or electric lines. A few small objects moved.
Pearl City (Oʻahu), Hakalau, Keaʻau, Kukuihaele, Honalo, Nīnole, ʻOʻōkala, Pāʻauhau, Paʻauilo,Pāpaʻikou, Pepeʻekeo, Pōhakuloa V Moderate ground shaking and movement of unstable objects.
Kohala (Maui) IV - V Some loose objects moved; shaking felt by many people. No significant damage.
Kamuela IV Felt by many, noises heard and loose objects shaken.
Kaʻaʻawa (Oʻahu) IV Windows and doors rattled.
Kalaupapa (Molokaʻi) IV Windows rattled and felt by many.
Kaunakakai (Molokaʻi) IV Noises heard and loose objects rattled.
Honolulu (Oʻahu),Lanaʻi City (Lanaʻi)
Kauaʻi Island II

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Updated: 14 Dec 1998 (pnf)