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Sen. Hirono Visits Volcano-Impacted Communities in Puna

May 20, 2018, 6:28 PM HST
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On Sunday, May 20, 2018, Sen. Mazie K. Hirono visited with Hawai‘i Island residents who have been displaced by volcanic activity in lower Puna. Sen. Hirono received a briefing at Emergency Operations Center in Hilo from Hawa‘ii County Mayor Harry Kim, the Hawai‘i Volcanoes Observatory, the Hawaii National Guard, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, and other federal, state and county agencies who are coordinating response efforts.

Sen. Hirono speaks to Puna resident Ikaika Marzo.

“While Puna continues to face significant challenges, it’s heartening to watch the community come together to help one another,” Sen. Hirono said. “There are 12 federal agencies on the ground to support state and county agencies in keeping Hawai‘i Island residents safe and provide resources to what will be a lengthy relief and recovery process. I will continue to work with these agencies in the weeks and months ahead as this community responds to and recovers from this natural disaster.”

Sen. Hirono visited the Pāhoa Community Regional Center and the Kea‘au Community Center, two of the three shelters established to care for displaced residents, and Pu‘uhonua Ō Puna, a community-run information and supply hub.

Senator Hirono speaks with Frankie Shepard Stapleton as she drops off a donation of food at Pu‘uhonua O Puno.

Senator Hirono also received a briefing from Brigadier General Kenneth Hara and members of Joint Task Force 50 at the Keaukaha Military Reservation.

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Sen. Hirono published resources and information from government agencies on her website for Hawai‘i residents affected by recent natural disasters. This page includes instructions for replacing important documents and updated information on federal services in impacted communities. Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senator Hirono’s bill to strengthen volcano monitoring centers like the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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