Ōlaʻi

 

1. n. Earthquake, tremor. 

Yesterday, Chile had an 8.3 magnitude ōlaʻi. Whoa. Residents of Hawaiʻi are familiar with ōlaʻi. Hawaiʻi Island residents experienced a traumatizing ōlaʻi Oct. 15, 2006, particularly residents in the north and western sides of the island. I remember it well and spent a good deal of time cleaning up the rubble in the house, namely broken glass in the kitchen and picking up fallen frames and toppled over dressers and knickknacks. I was grateful that we still had a home with no structural damage, unlike the Catholic church at the bottom of our hill.

Hawaiʻi is always alert to ōlaʻi that occur in our Pacific waters as a tsunami could be generated.

Ōlaʻi ikaika loa i ʻike ʻole ʻia kona lua – Very strong earthquake, the like of which had never been seen before.

Here are a couple of excerpts from newspapers in the 1800s:

HE OLAI.- I ka po 15 o Feberuari, haalulu ikaika ka honua ma ke kulanakauhale o San Francisco, Kaleponia, puiwa nui na kanaka a holo iwaho e nana i ke ano o keia mea. Iwakaluakumamalua kekona ka haalulu ikaika ana. Aole nae poino nui ka waiwai, hina kekahi pa, a maha ka puna o kekahi mau hale. (Mar 18 1856)

(Translation – AN EARTHQUAKE – On the night of February 15, the earth shook vigorously in the city of SF, California, the people were very surprised and ran outside to see what was happening. The shaking lasted 22 seconds. There was not a lot of great destruction, some walls fell, as well as the plaster of some homes [not real sure about that part])

Here is another:

I ka po o ka la pule iho nei, he olai hou no ma Honolulu nei. O ka lua keia o ke olai ana iloko o keia mahina. Aole nae i naueue nui ka honua e like me kela olai mamua iho nei. Ua kupikipikio maoli ke kai, a eu mai no na nalu, me he mea la, ua luliluli ia ke awa e like me ka luliluli ana o ke pa holoi ma ka lima o ke kanaka.
 (Dek 26 1861)

(Translation – Last Sunday night, there was another earthquake in Honolulu. This is the second earthquake this month. The earth, however, did not tremble much like that last earthquake. The ocean was indeed rough, and the waves active, the harbor swayed as if it were a wash basin being used by someone.

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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