The Hole in the Earth announced her presence to the Big Island last October 16. Recently I took a walk around Hilo looking for quake damage. Fortunately most of the damage was minor--a collapsed awning here, a lava rock wall there. The biggest loss is Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, closed indefinitely due to structural damage. About 420 people there will be out of work.
When a scientist gives a lecture people often ask, "what does cosmology have to do with us?" For every question like that there are many people who didn't attend for lack of interest. In fact, cosmology affects us every single day. A tiny remnant of the Big Bang causes earthquakes, volcanoes, and the magnetic field. Earth's singularity was created in the immense pressures and temperatures near the beginning of the Universe. The shaking felt October 16 was leftover energy from the Big Bang!
The angle below shows Kamehameha Avenue, the main oceanfront road. Yes, Hilo is rainy. The damage doesn't look so bad until you realise that there used to be buildings on the left side. A future post will talk about tsunamis.