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Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hawai‘i Island Granted

May 12, 2018, 10:31 AM HST (Updated May 12, 2018, 10:31 AM)
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Lava fountain erupts from the growing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent during eruptive episode 8, five months after the eruption began; Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i.
The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent began forming a distinct central-cone during episode 3 in March-April 1983. By the end of episode 4 in mid June, the main part of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō was a steep-sided spatter cone about 20-30 m high and 100 m wide. The cone was breached on the south side, through which lava spilled during subsequent episodes and fed flows that extended into the western part of Royal Gardens subdivision. At the end of episode 8, the cone was nearly 60 m (200 ft) above the pre-eruption ground surface. PC: USGS

Gov. David Ige’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hawai‘i Island was granted on Friday, May 11, 2018—one day after the governor submitted the request.

The disaster declaration means that federal assistance will be available for public facilities such as roads, public parks, schools and water pipes damaged or destroyed by the Kīlauea volcanic eruption and earthquakes. It also covers costs for emergency protection measures including personnel for security and roadblocks, geologists and the military.

The governor’s request for assistance by the Hazard Mitigation Grant program was also approved for the State of Hawai‘i. This program provides assistance to all Hawai‘i counties to prevent or reduce long-term risks to life and property caused by natural hazards.

“I’m grateful for the quick approval of my request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration,” said Gov.  Ige. “This opens the door to federal assistance and demonstrates a solid partnership with the federal government as we work to keep Hawai‘i residents safe and support recovery efforts on Hawai‘i Island,”

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As the volcanic eruption enters its second week, assessments continue and additional requests will be made when federal requirements are met.

The Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hawai‘i Island follows the Presidential Disaster Declaration for flood-damaged Kaua‘i and the City and County of Honolulu, which was granted on May 8.

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