Hurricane Iniki: The Most Powerful Storm Ever to Hit Hawaii

By , Meteorologist
September 11, 2013; 7:44 PM ET
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A beachfront resort on the island of Kauai. See below for larger image.

On Sept. 11, 1992, the strongest and most destructive hurricane to hit the Hawaiian Islands made landfall on the island of Kauai, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane Iniki hit the United States on the heels of the destruction caused by Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Louisiana.

Iniki slammed into the south shore of Kauai, causing an estimated $1.8 billion in damage and killing six. More than 1,000 people were injured.

The storm lived up to its name Iniki, which means sharp and piercing winds in Hawaiian, as it battered Kauai with winds of more than 100 mph. The storm's high winds accounted for much of the destruction.

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About 1,500 homes were destroyed with thousands sustaining significant damage. The most recent hurricane to hit Hawaii before Iniki was 1982's Iwa.

An aerial view of a beachfront resort on Poipu Beach on the island of Kauai Saturday, Sept. 13, 1992, after suffering damage brought on by Hurricane Iniki. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The hurricane coincided with the filming of the original "Jurassic Park" movie, which was being filmed on the island of Kauai. Steven Spielberg, the film's director, was forced to alter the movie's production schedule and included footage from the storm within the final cut of the movie.

Twenty-one years later, Hurricane Iniki remains one of the costliest hurricanes to ever impact the Eastern Pacific.


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