Powerful earthquake hits Hawaii

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A disaster is declared:

HONOLULU – A strong earthquake shook Hawaii early Sunday, causing a landslide that blocked a major highway on Hawaii Island and knocking out power across the state, authorities said.

The state Civil Defense had unconfirmed reports of injuries, but communication problems prevented more definite reports. Gov. Linda Lingle issued a disaster declaration for the entire island, saying there had been damage to buildings and roads.

The quake hit at 7:07 a.m. local time, 10 miles north-northwest of Kailua Kona, a town on the west coast of the Big Island, said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Blakeman said there was no risk of a Pacific-wide tsunami, but a possibility of significant wave activity in Hawaii.

The Pacific Tsunami Center reported a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, while the U.S. Geological Survey gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.6. It was followed by several strong aftershocks, including one measuring a magnitude of 5.8, the Geological Survey said.

Click here for KITV Honolulu’s continuous coverage of this developing story.

Update: Pajamas Media has a roundup of links on this story.

A salute to the American soldier

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Read this heartwrenching story about Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy SEAL, gave his life to protect his fellow SEALS:

CORONADO, Calif. – A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into their sniper hideout, fellow members of the elite force said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities to remain secret.

“He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it,” said a 28-year-old lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. “He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs’ lives, and we owe him.”

LC Jackboot at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler writes a moving tribute to Monsoor as part of an overall tribute to US Armed Forces. Consider it a must-read.

God bless our men and women in uniform.