East Hawaii News

Governor Signs Emergency Proclamation For Lava Flow

September 5, 2014, 4:12 PM HST
* Updated September 11, 12:24 PM
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Hawai’i County officials will soon be able to look into alternative routes for Puna drivers should lava cross Highway 130.

According to a press release issued Friday, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation in preparation for the June 27th lava flow crossing Highway 130 near Pahoa, potentially isolating communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawai’i County.

The proclamation suspends certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130.

It also activates the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.

“State agencies are working with the County of Hawai’i to provide alternative access to lower Puna if lava crosses the main highway,” said Abercrombie in a press release. “This proclamation will ensure that isolated communities receive a continuation of services.

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“Health officials are also advising all residents living near the lava flow to plan ahead for potential smoke from burning vegetation and low levels of sulfur dioxide. Conditions for nearby communities may vary widely due to the unpredictability of wind and weather.”

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The disaster emergency relief period specified in the proclamation begins Friday and lasts through Oct. 15.

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