BJPENN.Com has learned that Hawaii’s Big Island is facing another potential natural disaster, just one month after feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Iselle. An emergency has been declared by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi.
Mayor Kenoi wrote a letter to Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie with a copy provided by the County of Hawaii.
Dear Honorable Governor Neil Abercrombie,
On September 4, 2014, the County of Hawai‘i issued an Emergency Proclamation declaring a State of Emergency due to anticipated inundation of lava in the District of Puna, County and State of Hawai‘i, caused by the June 27”‘ lava flow. On September 4, 2014, the United States Geological Survey-Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (“USGS-HVO”) upgraded its alert status from Watch to Warning due to this event. Current projections by USGS-HVO scientist anticipate that the June 27”‘ lava flow will cross Highway 130 in the near future. When this occurs communities south of the crossing will be isolated from the rest of the County as Highway 130 is the only major thoroughfare servicing lower Puna. Government services, including schools, will be affected.
Lower Puna is made up of several residential communities, businesses, industry and farmlands. 2010 Census stated that approximately 8,211 people reside in the area that would be directly under threat of isolation from this flow. These are the subdivisions of Hawaiian Beaches southward to Kalapana. However, the 2010 Census underrepresents the present population since it has been reported that the District of Puna is the fastest growing population in the State.
The County of Hawai‘i in partnership with various state agencies is in the process of establishing alternative access to lower Puna should the lava flow cross Highway 130. However, regulatory statutes and pennitting will impede the development of this needed lifeline to lower Puna and therefore your assistance is humbly requested.
Image source: USGS HVO