Upcoming SpeakOut Events Focus on Recovery

September 27, 2019, 1:53 PM HST (Updated September 27, 2019, 1:53 PM)
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As the sun rose above Mauna Kea (background) on July 6, 1975, eruptive fissures along the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa fed voluminous ‘a‘ā lava flows that quickly moved down the north flank of the volcano. PC: USGS/D. Peterson.

If you want to speak out—speak out.

Hawaiʻi Island residents are invited to attend SpeakOut events on Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019, to help guide the 2018 Kīlauea eruption recovery efforts.

Both events will be held at the Pāhoa High and Intermediate School cafeteria, with the first focusing on Puna’s youth.

The Oct. 4 Youth SpeakOut is scheduled from 4:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will include a student panel addressing the topic of resilient recovery, STEM activities and a light dinner. Students, their ‘ohanas and school faculty are welcome to attend, according to a Hawai‘i County press release.

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The Oct. 5 SpeakOut is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is organized for the general public. Residents can drop in at any time.

This event focuses on Phase III of Kīlauea eruption recovery—identifying strategies and actions. The Hawaiʻi County recovery team will provide a report back about ongoing engagement efforts and interactive activities related to recovery strategies and decision making.

“The recovery process is at the point where some hard choices need to be made,” said Diane Ley, Research and Development director. “We want the public to understand potential strategies and tradeoffs, so the county can make informed decisions that meet the needs of the community.”

County staff and consultants are developing a recovery strategic plan. The plan is expected to be available around the end of the year, the release said, and will include ways the county can support the community post-eruption and mitigate future risks.

Input from these SpeakOut events will help guide recovery strategies and opportunities.

Additionally, the county is organizing an art contest for students attending high schools in Puna. Students are asked to design an image reflecting what being “Puna and Hawaiʻi Island Strong” means to them.

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