BREAKING NEWS: Hawaii ports close as hurricane hits
Matson Navigation Company, a leading US carrier in the Pacific, is continuing to sail its vessels serving Hawaii on a normal schedule to position inbound cargo for discharge as soon as possible after the reopening of Hawaii ports following Hurricane Lane.
Matson’s vessel Mahimahi arrived at Honolulu on Wednesday and 537 containers were discharged prior to the closure of Honolulu Harbor. The vessel was then moved to a safe position off shore and will return to complete discharge of an additional 615 containers when the port reopens.
Including cargo that arrived yesterday and has not yet been picked up by customers, there was a total of 665 containers of goods ready for pick up at Matson’s Honolulu terminal when it closed in accordance with State Department of Transportation port closures yesterday.
President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday that an emergency exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Lane. The president’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts with the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai and the City and County of Honolulu. FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard Captain of the port set port condition ZULU for Honolulu County ports as of 11 AM Thursday in advance of Hurricane Lane. The announcement means that gale-force winds are expected within 12 hours.
Matson vessels Manoa, Manulani, Matsonia and Mokihana, carrying a combined 3,500 containers of goods, are scheduled to call Honolulu on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. The carruer said the vessels will sail as scheduled to be positioned for service as soon as Honolulu Harbor is reopened.
In addition to the discharge of cargo from Mahimahi, two of Matson’s three barges dedicated to serving Hawaii’s neighbor island ports from Honolulu were loaded and dispatched yesterday toward Kahului and Hilo where they will position offshore and be ready to serve those ports as they reopen.