600px-Hurricane Iniki 11 sept 1992 2358Z

Satellite image of Iniki near peak intensity.

"I think we might die, Laura."
Sam Neill(src)

Hurricane Iniki is the most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S. state of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islands in recorded history. Iniki struck the island of Kauai on September 11 at peak intensity. It had winds of 145 mph (235 km/h), and was a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Among those on Kauaʻi was filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who was preparing for the final day of on-location shooting of the movie Jurassic Park. He and his 130 cast and crew remained safely in a hotel during Iniki's passage.

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Hurricane Iniki

Before the storm

Steven Spielberg was totally surprised by the storm. He switched on the news on the morning of September 11th. "Like in a bad movie," the first shot of the news was a map of Hawaii with the hurricane.

In a 2013 interview with Matt Lauer, Sam Neill said he was standing on the beach that day with Laura Dern. Laura asked, "do you think we're gonna be alright, Sam?" Sam responded: "I think we might die, Laura." She laughed.[1]

Destruction of Sets

Many sets that were created for the movie were destroyed after Iniki came through. Among those sets include:

  • The set that leads to the Power Shed (because of the destruction they couldn't film some bits that would have included Ray Arnold's trek to the sheds).


Steven Spielberg and his cast and crew took shelter in the basement of their hotel.

Richard Attenborough managed to sleep through it. When questioned how by Steven Spielberg, he replied: "Dear boy, I survived the blitz!"[2]


The helicopter pilot that rescued the cast and crew from Hurricane Iniki was Fred Sorenson, whose sole movie role was that of Jock, the seaplane pilot who rescues Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark.[2]


When the storm was over, "I Survived Hurricane Iniki" shirts were handed out to the cast and crew. The shirt "Hurricane Iniki: Survivor '92" is worn by comic character Derrick in Return to Jurassic Park V and Return to Jurassic Park VI.[3][4]


Iniki Jurassic

Iniki Jurassic

Storm Stories about Hurricane Iniki from the perspective of the Jurassic Park crew.


  1. Matt Lauer, Laura Dern: 'Jurassic Park 3D' is 'awe-inspiring'. The TODAY Show, 2nd April, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ali (2011). Jurassic Park Week: 20 things you didn't know about Jurassic Park, The Shiznit. Link.
  3. Jurassic Page, Return to Jurassic Park VIII.
  4. Jurassic Page, The Lost World: Jurassic Park II.
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