Hurricane Iwa

November 1982
In Hawaiian Iwa means “thief”

An active trough of low pressure in the Pacific Ocean started near the equator on November 19, 1982. The storm traveled in a northeasterly direction becoming a category 1 hurricane on November 23, the same day it passed the Island of Kauai.

Hurricane Iwa was the first significant hurricane to affect the Hawaiian Islands since statehood in 1959. At the time, Iwa was Hawaii’s most damaging hurricane.

The storm devastated the islands of Niihau, Oahu and Kauai. Hurricane Iwa’s wind gusts exceeded 100mph causing $312 million damage state wide. The most severe damage was on Kauai; $250 million. A total of 2,345 buildings, including 1,927 homes were demolished.

One person was killed during the storm. Three others died from the hurricane’s aftermath.

Ten Years Later…

Hurricane Iniki

September 1992
In Hawaiian ‘Iniki means sharp and piercing.

Hurricane Iniki evolved in September 1992. On september 8th, the weather disturbance was declared a tropical storm. The storm quickly intensified reaching hurricane status the very next day, September 9th.

As a category 4 hurricane, Iniki hit the island of Kaua’i on September 11, 1992. The center of Iniki’s path past directly over the middle of Kaua’i. Iniki brought winds of 140 miles per hour.

From the start of records, Iniki is the costliest hurricane to affect Hawaii. Six people lost their lives as a result.

Iniki caused nearly $2 billion in damage to the entire State of Hawaii. The greatest devastation occurred to the Island of Kauai.

Iniki completely destroyed over 1,400 houses and severely damaged another 5,000.

A Hawaiian hurricane is a tropical cyclone that forms in the Pacific Ocean and affects the Hawaiian Islands. The only difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon is the location where the storm occurs.

  • Atlantic and Northeast Pacific Ocean – hurricane
  • Northwest Pacific – typhoon
  • South Pacific and Indian Ocean – cyclone