Thousands of earthquakes occur every year in the state of Hawaiʻi. They are caused by eruptive processes within the active volcanoes or by deep structural adjustments due to the weight of the islands on Earth’s underlying crust. Most are so small that they can only be detected by sensitive instruments, known as seismometers. Some are strong enough to be felt on one or more of the islands. Source: USGS
What to do in the event of a large earthquake:
If you are inside a building, stay there – DROP to the floor; take COVER under a sturdy table or desk; HOLD ON to your shelter and move with it until the shaking stops. In modern homes, doorways are no stronger than any part of the house. You are safer under a table.
In school, a high rise, stadium, theatre or a store – Stay inside. Drop! Cover! Hold On! Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. Sprinkler and/or fire alarms may activate. Do not run outside during an earthquake. In a store, a shopping cart or clothing rack can provide some protection. Get away from heavy items on high shelves. Drop to the ground first and crawl only the shortest distance necessary. Use your best judgement. In a stadium or theatre, stay at your seat or drop to the floor between rows and protect your head and neck with your arms. Don’t leave until the shaking is over.
If you are outdoors – Move to a clear area if you can safely do so. Avoid steep cliffs and road cuts, power lines, trees, signs buildings, vehicles, and other hazards.
Driving – Pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid bridges, power lines, steep cliffs or road cuts, overpasses, signs, and other hazards. Stay inside your vehicle until the strong shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
If you’re at or near the ocean – DROP! COVER! HOLD ON! until the strong shaking stops. THEN quickly walk to higher ground or inland – until you are at last 100 ft. above sea level, or beyond the marked tsunami hazard zone. Avoid steep cliffs and watch for falling rocks. Locally-generated tsunami have occurred in the past, so move to higher ground. Do not wait for officials to issue a warning.
If you’re in bed – stay there. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured by staying in bed. Broken glass on the floor has caused injuries to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to a doorway.
In a wheelchair – Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.
Source: The Great Hawaiʻi Shake Out