POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 17, 2011
KAILUA-KONA »» Tsunami waves that surged through Hawaii's Keoneele Bay last week have uncovered centuries-old structures and cooking sites at Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park on the Big Island.
Since the tsunami that hit Friday, archaeologists have been surveying the area, identifying and recording what's been revealed, Eric Andersen, the park's chief of interpretation, told West Hawaii Today.
"Almost as if stepping into a page of history, we have been given the opportunity to look back at a time, one which we have only heard or read about prior," he said. The discoveries "confirm oral accounts and serve as a reminder of the tremendous multigenerational, rich story of this place."
Ocean waves of up to 7 feet high pushed hundreds of feet inland on Friday and raced through the national park's palace grounds and fishponds after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck off Japan.
Defeated warriors, noncombatants in time of war and those who violated sacred laws sought refuge in this area in ancient times.
Andersen said the discoveries will be covered with sand and left undisturbed afterward.
The water toppled rock walls, washed tilapia out of ponds, knocked over a coconut palm and exposed tree root systems, Andersen said.
Many other resources were untouched. All of the kii, or wooden images, are still at the park, including the one roughly 3 to 4 feet above sea level near the edge of the bay.
Alii Drive reopens after various repairs
Big Island police reopened Alii Drive between Palani and Sarona roads in Kailua-Kona to traffic in both directions yesterday.
Police thanked the public for their patience during the repair of the sidewalk and portions of Alii Drive damaged Friday by the tsunami.