Hōkūleʻa Ventures Furthest from the Equator in Her History

Traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle’a achieved a new milestone in her journey around the word. During this leg of the Worldwide Voyage, she successfully completed the roundtrip sail from Wellington to Golden Bay, New Zealand. This marks the furthest into the Southern Hemisphere that Hōkūleʻa has sailed in four decades of voyaging. The crew returned safely to Wellington on Saturday, and Hōkūleʻa is now in route to Napier, New Zealand.

Hokulea equator

This leg of the Worldwide Voyage was an ambitious journey, taking Hōkūle’a far beyond the warm waters of the Pacific in which she has travelled extensively over the past four decades. The harsh sea and weather conditions along New Zealand’s South Island and beyond will continue to push the boundaries of contemporary Polynesian voyaging as Hōkūleʻa sails around the world.

hokulea equator3

“On March 8th, 1975, Hōkūle’a was launched with the vision of one voyage to Tahiti and back,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo (master) navigator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “She has been restored and reenergized through the aloha and good mana of our large voyaging community, young and old, from near and far. In 2015, 40 years later, she continues to afford us the opportunity to explore new horizons.”

While on South Island on January 21, 2015, crew had the opportunity to visit and honor the place where a 600-year-old voyaging canoe was recently rediscovered.

hokulea equator 2

Making this connection between Hōkūle’a and her ancient predecessor honors Polynesians’ ability to explore the ocean world, proving the strength and vitality of these voyaging vessels. This ancient Polynesian double-hulled canoe “is the reason why Hōkūleʻa sailed to Mohua Bay,” said the captain for this leg of the voyage, Kālepa Baybayan. “It is to pay homage, to recognize the importance of this artifact.”

“This is the farthest south we have ever gone to a part of the ocean that is notoriously rough,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “It was accomplished because of unprecedented collaborations and support, and Kālepa Baybayan’s good leadership. This leg of the Worldwide Voyage was extensive, exceptional, and honored our traditions. It was foundational to our ability to do well as we prepare to depart Polynesia.”

The Hawaiian name for this journey, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Island Earth” and is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017.

Kona Grounded Sailing Vessel Caused Limited Damage

The grounding of the sailing vessel Hawaii Aloha off Hualalai on the Big Island’s Kona Coast on Jan. 3, 2015 caused limited resource damage.
Sailboat salvage

This is the determination of a team from the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) that conducted an in-water assessment of the area offshore of the grounding on Jan. 13.

Dr. Bill Walsh, the DLNR/DAR aquatic biologist for West Hawaii said, “The good news is this boat grounded on a bench area, so we didn’t expect to see any catastrophic damage to coral reef environments.  We did see some broken coral heads, but it’s impossible to determine whether the boat caused this damage, or they were impacted by the storm that resulted in the boat’s grounding.”  The DAR team did find debris scattered on the ocean floor, including relatively small pieces of fiberglass, cloth, eating and cooking utensils, and a few personal items.  DLNR will follow-up on the removal of debris discovered during this assessment. Hazardous medical waste was removed by non-DLNR divers shortly after the grounding.

The Hawaii Aloha, a 75-foot long, 84-ton, cement vessel was removed from the near-shore bench last weekend.  The salvage and debris removal work was conducted by Sea Engineering Inc., under a $150,000 contract from DLNR.  Dan Mersburgh, the acting Hawaii district manager for the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) in Kailua-Kona commented, “Sea Engineering did a good job and they did it quicker than I thought they could do it. They did it quicker than they thought they could do it.  So they did a good job.”  The company used a land based excavator to drag the vessel onto the beach, broke it up, and then dumped it into a truck for disposal at the county landfill.

Hawaii Aloha Salvage-Web from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

DLNR funded the cost of the salvage, as the insurance covering the Hawaii Aloha did not cover wreck removal.  This has prompted DLNR/DOBOR to institute a new policy, requiring vessels using temporary state moorings to show proof of adequate insurance coverage in the event of an accident or grounding.  “We are saddened that one man was lost at sea when the Hawaii Aloha grounded during the storm,” said Ed Underwood, DOBOR administrator. “To protect State of Hawaii taxpayers, we want to be sure that all vessels temporarily mooring in Hawaii waters have adequate coverage to cover incidents like this grounding,” Underwood said.

16-Year-Old Girl Dies in Single-Vehicle Crash

A 16-year-old Pāhala girl died in a single-vehicle crash Wednesday night (January 14) in Pāhala.

She was identified as Leiani Camba-Penera.

Leiani Camba-Penera

Leiani Camba-Penera

Responding to a 9:21 p.m. call, police determined that a 1994 Toyota pickup truck operated by an 18-year-old Nāʻālehu man was traveling south on Route 11, seven-tenths of a mile south of the 41-mile marker, when the driver reportedly fell asleep, ran off the right shoulder and struck a utility pole.

Camba-Penera, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:10 a.m. Thursday (January 15). An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The driver was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Police believe that speed and drugs may have contributed to this traffic fatality. They have initiated a negligent homicide investigation.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646, Ext. 299. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the first traffic fatality this year compared with two at this time last year.

Public Comments Welcome For Revision #1 Of Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is providing an opportunity for the public to submit comments on the proposed STIP Revision #1 to the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015 to 2018 (+2) Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). The STIP is a four-year plan that identifies state and county transportation projects to be funded, in part, with Federal Highway and Transit Funds.

Click to see draft

Click to see draft

The primary purpose of this revision is to address needed changes to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded projects due to shifts in project schedules, priorities and cost estimate increases or decreases that occurred through the project development process. Other scheduling changes or funding restructuring were also necessary to fiscally balance the aforementioned changes.

Changes to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) program reflect updated revenue estimates, project development related changes, and updated grant award schedules.

Proposed STIP Revision #1, new project information and a list of explanations of the changes reflected in this revision can be found on the HDOT STIP website at: http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/revisions-for-2015-2018-2-stip/

Changes to the Oahu portion of the STIP are pending and are concurrently being processed as a Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) revision by the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Please see more information on the TIP process and TIP Revisions at the Oahu MPO website at: http://www.oahumpo.org/plans-and-programs/transportation-improvement-program-tip/

Hard copies of the proposed STIP may be obtained by calling (808) 587-6355, or by using the contact information below.

Comments on STIP Revision #1 will be accepted until Feb. 9, 2015 by mail, fax, or email to:

Highway Planning Branch
869 Punchbowl Street, Room 301
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
email:  hwy.stip.projects@hawaii.gov
fax: (808) 587-1787

Follow the STIP on Twitter and Facebook at:

http://twitter.com/HISTIPnews

http://www.facebook.com/stip.hawaii

VOG Causes Kayaker to Get Lost Crossing From Maui to Big Island

The Coast Guard is responding to a kayaker in distress off Big Island, Tuesday.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification at 6:29 p.m. via cell phone from a kayaker approximately 19 miles northeast of Kohala, Big Island. The 38-year-old man was en route Big Island from Maui when he reportedly lost sight of the island due to volcanic smog and drifted off course.

Watchstanders were able to triangulate his signal with the aid of Hawaii County Police Dispatch to determine his location.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point diverted from training flights to the kayaker’s location. The Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, homeported in Hilo, is en route to assist.

The HC-130 Hercules crew arrived on scene at 7:15 p.m. and dropped a radio and lifejacket to the kayaker. The kayaker has no other life saving equipment aboard.

Due to depleted cell phone battery, the Hercules crew dropped a radio to establish communication with the kayaker.

Mariners should always carry essential safety equipment when heading out on the water to include a VHF marine radio, lifejacket and flares. VHF radios have the advantage of reaching all vessels within the broadcast range simultaneously. Cell phones only provide one-to-one communication and are an unreliable emergency communication method when offshore. Mariners are also advised to use and register an emergency position-indicating radio beacon or personal locator beacon. For more information on EPIRBs, visit www.epirb.com.

New Satellite Image Shows Pahoa Still in Danger From Lava Flow

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow. The area of the flow on December 30 at 2:30 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on January 6 at 11:30 AM is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The most active parts of the flow were in an area 400 to 900 m (440 to 980 yards) behind the stalled tip of the flow above Pahoa Marketplace, and at the front of a flow lobe that branches off to the north about 3 km (2 miles) behind the stalled flow tip. Other active breakouts on the distal part of the flow were scattered between these two areas.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths.

Click to enlarge

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on December 30 at 2:30 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on January 6 at 11:30 AM is shown in red. Click to enlarge

Storm Batters Boats Throughout Hawaii

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and several of its divisions responded to reports of at least six vessels adrift or grounded, as a result of a short, but severe winter storm on Jan. 2 and 3.

A 75-foot, 84-ton sailing ketch, Hawaii Aloha ran aground in the wave zone fronting the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort on Hawaii Island, Friday night.

The Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a possible person in the water off of the Big Island, Hawaii, Jan. 3, 2015. The 74-foot sailing vessel, Hawaii Aloha ran hard aground with five persons on board. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard and the Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a possible person in the water off of the Big Island, Hawaii, Jan. 3, 2015. The 74-foot sailing vessel, Hawaii Aloha ran hard aground with five persons on board. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The boat’s captain and three crew members managed to get off before it grounded.  The search for a fifth crew member is continuing.  Staff from the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), are working with salvage and insurance companies to develop a salvage and wreckage removal plan for the Hawaii Aloha. Interim DLNR Chairperson Carty Chang said, “We want to exercise great care in removing this boat, as it still contains more than 500 gallons of diesel fuel and is resting in a position that could cause environmental damage.  The plans we’re working on currently will take into consideration all factors to minimize any further damage to fragile natural resources.”

A 45-foot sail boat, Kanua Kai, ran aground atop the reef fronting the Cheeseburger in Paradise Restaurant on Front Street in Lahaina, Maui.  DOBOR worked with the owner and the boat’s insurer to remove this vessel. DLNR was involved in this vessel removal to assess and mitigate any reef damage caused by this grounding. 

On Friday night, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) informed DLNR that a 780-foot container ship Horizon Pacific ran aground in the channel as it exited Honolulu Harbor.  The ship was able to “self-extract” and returned to port Saturday afternoon where divers assessed its hull for damage.  DAR is sending a team into the water, as soon as weather and ocean conditions allow, to get a better picture of any damage.

DOBOR, DAR, and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) were informed by the USCG and various county authorities of additional groundings or vessel capsizes including:

  • A 13-foot Boston Whaler with an outboard engine capsized off Swanzee Beach Park, Oahu, Friday night.  The owner reportedly swam ashore.
  • USCG reported two vessels in distress in Kaneohe Bay, Friday night. A 36-38 foot long sailing vessel was reported loose and heading toward Chinaman’s Hat.  Weather conditions did not permit a U.S. Marine Corp (USMC) waterfront operations vessel to relocate.
  • While attempting to locate the vessel above the USMC vessel located the 26-foot sailing vessel Kaileadrift in Kaneohe Bay.  It had a broken anchor line off its bow.  It later grounded atop the sandbar in Kaneohe Bay.  This boat was removed late Saturday.

    DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood reminded boat owners and operators, “To always have required safety equipment on board your vessel and to pay very close attention to marine weather conditions and reports.”

HELCO Working to Restore Power to Big Island Residents Affected by Storm

Hawaii Electric Light crews have restored power to most customers in West Hawaii who lost electricity as a result of severe weather conditions affecting Hawaii Island Jan. 2 and 3. About 5,900 customers in the areas of North Hawai‘i and Hamakua, as well as spots in Hilo, lower and upper Puna, and Kau are currently experiencing power outages.

Omeka Street in Eden Roc

Omeka Street in Eden Roc

The windy conditions caused trees to fall into power lines and break lines and poles.

As power restoration efforts continue on Hawaii Island, Hawaii Electric Light would like to remind customers of important safety information.

  • Treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous.
  • Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment.
  • Do not approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, do not approach them and call 9-1-1 for assistance.
  • Use generators outdoors and away from flammable materials. Generators connected directly to your home may feed excess electricity back into power lines, creating a public safety hazard. Plug appliances directly into your generator using extension cords.
  • Unplug unnecessary and sensitive electronic equipment. Use high-quality surge suppressors for electric appliances that remain plugged in.
  • Use batteries to power flashlights and lanterns. Do not use candles or other flammable fuel sources, as they are fire hazards.
  • Be aware of trees and utility poles that were weakened by storm winds and have the potential for falling.
  • Anyone who is without power and who is dependent on electric-powered life support medical equipment should make arrangements to go to an alternate location with power. They should bring their medical equipment and medications with them. They should also stay in contact with their medical equipment supplier for any special equipment needs.

If the service line directly to your home is down, please call Hawaii Electric Light at 969-6666.

“All available crews are responding to reports of downed power lines, poles, trees on the lines, and related issues due to the severe weather experienced on Hawaii Island beginning Friday. Customers in multiple locations are impacted,” said Rhea Lee, Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson. “Our first priority is to safely restore the backbone of our cross-island transmission lines to stabilize the power grid including the transmission tie to Hamakua Energy Partners, and then we will be able to work on restoring pocket outages around the island.

“Employees are in the field assessing damage to aide in restoring power faster. We know what a hardship it is for our customers to be out of power. We sincerely apologize and want to assure them we are doing everything we can to safely restore service as quickly as possible.”

For those who remain without power for an extended time, below are some food safety tips.

Refrigerated foods

  • Discard any perishable food that has been above 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and leftovers before you cook or eat it.
  • Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

For those who remain without power for an extended time, below are some food safety tips.

Frozen foods

  • Foods can stay frozen in the freezer for one to three days: one day for a half-full freezer, three days for a fully-stocked freezer.
  • Food that has been thawed completely and has not been held at or below 41 degrees should be cooked and eaten immediately. If your food still has ice crystals, it’s safe to refreeze.

As a general rule, “when it doubt, throw it out.”

If your power is out for an extended period of time, consider using dry ice if available. Please remember to use gloves or tongs when handling dry ice. Dry ice can be placed directly on top of your foods, since dry ice cools things under it.

Hawaii Electric Light asks customers in West Hawaii who have not yet reported their power outage to call its trouble line at 969-6666. Call wait times have increased due to the high volume of calls; customers’ patience is appreciated.

Lava Flow Continues to Advance Towards Pahoa Market Place and Highway 130

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow yesterday afternoon and mapped its perimeter.

1230map

At the time of the flight, the leading tip of the flow was stalled 530 m (580 yd) from the Pahoa Marketplace, but several small breakouts were active immediately upslope from the front. The flow had advanced about 150 m (~165 yd) since December 27.

The leading part of the flow consisted of several small, active lobes this afternoon. The front of the lobe that crossed the firebreak was stalled, though breakouts were active about 50 m (55 yd) upslope. Another lobe (area of most visible smoke in center) was about 300 m (330 yd) upslope of the tip and 150 m (165 yd) upslope of the firebreak. A third lobe was 350 m (385 yd) upslope of the firebreak. The view is to the northeast.

The leading part of the flow consisted of several small, active lobes this afternoon. The front of the lobe that crossed the firebreak was stalled, though breakouts were active about 50 m (55 yd) upslope. Another lobe (area of most visible smoke in center) was about 300 m (330 yd) upslope of the tip and 150 m (165 yd) upslope of the firebreak. A third lobe was 350 m (385 yd) upslope of the firebreak. The view is to the northeast.

Many small breakouts were also active along the length of the flow up to about 3 km (2 miles) upslope from the front of the flow, as well as within the ground crack area near the True/Mid-Pacific well pad and about 3 km (2 miles) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This compares a normal photograph of the active flow front with a thermal image.

1231thermalThe photograph has been cropped and rotated to approximate the perspective of the thermal image. The thermal image shows that small breakouts were present immediately behind the leading tip of the flow and farther upslope, indicated by the white and yellowish pixels.

Lava Map Shows Flow Less then Half Mile From Major Highway

This new map of the Puna lava flow shows just how wide this flow is starting to spread with a lot of new breakouts happening in the last 48 hours.

1222map From HVO:
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow this afternoon and mapped its leading edge. At the time of the flight, the tip of the flow was stalled about 0.7 km (0.4 miles) from the Pahoa Marketplace, measured in a straight line, but lava was active in several places immediately behind the front. One or more of these other active lobes could overtake the stalled front in the coming hours to days, or the stalled front could reactivate. Numerous breakouts were also active along the flow in an area extending from 1 to 3 km (0.6 to 2 miles) upslope from the front of the flow, in the ground crack area near the True/Mid-Pacific well pad, and about 3 km (2 miles) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Lava Flow Stalls – New Breakouts Near Geothermal Well Pad

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow this afternoon and mapped its leading edge. At the time of the flight, the tip of the flow was stalled about 0.7 km (0.4 miles) from the Pahoa Marketplace, measured in a straight line, but lava was active in several places immediately behind the front.

A small, but fairly vigorous, breakout was active this afternoon about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the tip of the flow. (click to enlarge)

A small, but fairly vigorous, breakout was active this afternoon about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the tip of the flow. (click to enlarge)

One or more of these other active lobes could overtake the stalled front in the coming hours to days, or the stalled front could reactivate. Numerous breakouts were also active along the flow in an area extending from 1 to 3 km (0.6 to 2 miles) upslope from the front of the flow, in the ground crack area near the True/Mid-Pacific well pad, and about 3 km (2 miles) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Daily updates about Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Highway 130 to be Repaired After Lava Crosses – No Guarantee on Fix

With the lava less then 1 mile from crossing Highway 130 here in Pahoa, Senator Russell Ruderman posted the following on Facebook this morning:

Highway 130 repairs!
Big news regarding the highway and lava. The State DOT is planning to ‘repair’ the highway within a week or two if lava crosses highway. This will involve layers of cinder and a gravel roadbed, and if needed, the truck-bed platform that Bryson Kuwohara has proposed. This is wonderful news, meaning we can expect some normalcy soon after if lava breaches the highway. While there is no guarantee, I have a lot of confidence that the state DOT is taking its responsibility to keep Puna accesible seriously, and that their engineers are looking kindly on this plan.

DLNR Arrests Four Men For Molokai Ocean Incident

Four Molokai men will face arraignment and hearings in Maui Circuit Court later this month after being arrested and charged for their roles in a confrontation between two groups of fishermen in Molokai waters.
DLNR
The investigation was conducted by Maui Police Department with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE).   

On November 25, 2014 Albert K. Dudoit, Jr., age 27, Robin W. Dudoit, age 57, Floyd Kumukoa Kapuna, age 31 and Kaiula K. English, age 28 were arrested by Maui Police Department and DOCARE officers, and charged with two counts of robbery in the second degree, unauthorized first degree entry into a motor vessel, terroristic threatening in the first degree, and harassment. All of the men were released after posting $50,000 bail each. The Grand Jury returned indictments on the four men stemming from an incident which occurred in Molokai waters in May 2014 in which the men are accused of illegally boarding a vessel in state waters

The vessel used by the four men was seized as evidence and transported to Maui with the assistance of a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 aircraft.  

“We are willing to work with any community that wants to forge a proactive partnership with DLNR to ensure public safety, access, and lawful behavior concerning the natural resources of Hawaii,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “We will not tolerate community involvement in unlawful criminal behavior.”

“DOCARE officers have worked very hard to make this case because when there are people willing to come forward and there is sufficient evidence to show a criminal action is being perpetrated on citizens, we will take action,” said Randy K. Awo, recently retired DOCARE Chief. 

The Department of Land and Natural Resources wishes to thank the Maui Prosecutor’s Office, Maui Police Department and US Coast Guard for their assistance with this case.  

Second Supplementary Proclamation Pertaining to State of Emergency in Puna Issued Today

A second supplementary proclamation pertaining to the declared state of emergency in Puna was issued today by Mayor Billy Kenoi. A PDF of the signed proclamation is available here.

Click to read

Click to read

SECOND SUPPLEMENTARY PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature, provides for the establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management within the County; and

WHEREAS, Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature and Chapter 7, Articles 1 and 2 of the Hawai‘i County Code, establishes a Civil Defense Agency within the County of Hawai‘i and prescribes its powers, duties, and responsibilities, and Section 13‑23 of the Hawai‘i County Charter empowers the Mayor of the County to declare emergencies; and

WHEREAS, the County of Hawai‘i on September 4, 2014, and the State of Hawai‘i on September 5, 2014, issued Proclamations declaring states of emergency due to the threat of disaster due to the June 27th lava flow in the District of Puna, County and State of Hawai‘i; and

WHEREAS, the County of Hawai‘i on October 16, 2014, issued a Supplementary Proclamation, and the State of Hawai‘i on September 22, 2014, and October 17, 2014, issued a Supplementary Proclamation and Second Supplementary Proclamation further declaring states of emergency due to the threat of disaster due to the June 27th lava flow in the District of Puna, County and State of Hawai‘i; and

WHEREAS, the United States Geological Survey – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on December 3, 2014, reported that the eruptive phase of the June 27th flow is continuing and show no signs of halting and that new breakouts occurring upslope of Pahoa Village have converged to create a new organized lava front; and

WHEREAS, this new upslope front has been proceeding at a rate of several hundred yards per day and is presently located 2.5 miles from State Highway 130; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM P. KENOI, Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i,

do hereby proclaim and declare that a state of emergency continues to exist due to the threat of imminent disaster on the Hawai‘i Island, District of Puna, effective December 3, 2014, and that the Proclamation of September 4, 2014, and Supplementary Proclamation of October 16, 2014, shall remain in full force and effect and are hereby included in the provisions of this Second Supplementary Proclamation and shall continue thereon for 60 days or until further act by this office.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawai‘i to be affixed. Done this 3rd day of December, 2014, in Hilo, Hawai‘i.

WIILIAM P. KENOI
Mayor
County of Hawai‘i

Public, Private Agencies Convene to Discuss Lava, Emergency Housing

More than 45 of Hawaii Island’s top officials in government, business, construction, academia and the non-profit sector gathered last week in Hilo to discuss the Puna lava situation and its effects on the island’s housing market.
Lava Housing

The emergency housing forum, hosted by HOPE Services Hawaii, Hawaii Island Realtors, the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and Day Lum Rentals & Management, included roundtable discussions that focused on short- and long-term housing planning, legislative policy and expanding community resources.

The November 24 forum was intended as the beginning of a larger conversation focused on building more affordable housing on Hawaii Island. An action plan that outlines next steps and leverages private and public partnerships is being created by the forum’s hosts and expected to be complete by first quarter 2015. The plan will identify short and long-term solutions, which will help inform possible legislative policies and provide the basis for maximizing community resources.

During the forum, agency heads discussed what organizations are experiencing as a result of the lava breakout, which started in late June and has travelled 13.5 miles since. Some presented ideas to alleviate the demand for housing outside of Puna, noting, however, that today’s quick fixes should complement the island’s long-term housing and development plans.

“No one is pretending to have all the answers,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “There’s no lava flow manual, so many policy decisions are being made with the best information available. What we’re facing as a community is significant, but the challenges are not insurmountable. The County has been and will continue to be all hands on deck, ready to collaborate, and to share information as it becomes available to lessen anxiety and uncertainty.”

Brandee Menino, chief executive officer for HOPE Services Hawaii, said that while HOPE primarily helps homeless and at-risk individuals and families transition off the streets and obtain stable housing, her office has been getting calls from families displaced by Tropical Storm Iselle and potentially isolated by the lava. She noted that even before this year’s natural disasters, the need for rental units had been identified.

“A 2011 Housing Planning Study prepared for the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation revealed that Hawaii County would need 1,753 rental units by 2016 in order to meet the growing demand for housing,” said Menino. “This report was done in 2011, when lava was not a concern, so we must make a concerted effort to prioritize creating more affordable housing opportunities for Hawaii’s families.”

Paul Normann, executive director of the Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP), a resource for distressed families, said Puna has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the State. “Because of the disruption caused by Iselle and the active lava flow, NPP has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families seeking assistance. In the first four months of the current fiscal year, July through October, NPP has already served 106 families. To put that in context, over the course of the entire 12 months of the previous fiscal year, NPP served a total of 130 families.

Nancy Cabral of Day-Lum said that some families wanted to get ahead of the lava and moved from the area. But Cabral is concerned with who haven’t. “There are a lot of residents who have not been preparing for what’s coming. It seems they are waiting for government to step in and rescue them, so we really need to take steps to ready the housing market.”

Cabral offered solutions to stave off a potential housing crisis including working with hotels to temporarily rent out rooms, helping families uproot and move homes to vacant lots and lobbying the State to relinquish control to the County of affordable units such as Lanakila Housing, which can move faster to make the units available to those looking to relocate from Puna.

Mark Kimura, an economic geography researcher at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, who conducted an informal survey of Puna residents, said almost half reported they had no one to rely on or place to go if they needed to move. 14 percent said they have already left the area or are preparing to leave and 25 percent said they could move-in with family or friends on-island. He said many don’t want to give up their homes because they are still paying a mortgage, have farms, can’t afford to move and have difficulty finding places that are pet-friendly or retrofitted for people with disabilities.

Amanda Donaldson, President of NARPM’s East Hawaii chapter, which is made up of about 20 local residential property managers, said members get nearly a dozen additional calls a day from families looking for housing outside the lava zone. She said NARPM agents are willing to add addendums that allow individuals in the lava impact zone to break their lease once lava hits.

Kehau Costa of Hawaii Island Realtors championed a “one-stop-shop” rentals website where interested renters can view available units on the island, which would speed up house hunting. Costa also suggested a “new landlord resource fair” because of the increasing number of individuals asking how they can convert part of or their entire home into a rental.

Additional ideas that came out of the forum include exploring commuter housing, house sharing, prepping lands for modular housing, fast tracking County building permit processes as well as County take over, repair and rental of foreclosure homes.

Any individuals or organizations interested in taking part in future discussions may contact Brandee Menino at bmenino@hopeserviceshawaii.org or (808) 933-6013.

Lava Flow Advances Another 400 Yards Since Yesterday

This is an eruption and lava flow update for Tuesday December 2nd at 8:45AM.

This morning’s helicopter assessment shows that the new flow front continues to show signs of advancement and widening.   The active flow front is located approximately 2.7 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.

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The flow had advanced approximately 400 yards since yesterday.  Current activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory personnel are maintaining close observations of flow activity. Residents down slope will be kept informed of any changes in flow activity, advancement, and status.

Smoke conditions were light this morning in the immediate area with all smoke from burning vegetation being blown in a southeast direction.  Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take precautions and to remain indoors.

The Pahoa Village Road remains open to all traffic and motorists are advised to exercise caution as some utility pole protection material remains in place.  Everyone is asked to please respect the residents of the area who were affected by the lava flow and to not trespass on private property.

Once again we would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

New Map Puts Pahoa Marketplace in Lava Flow Path

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted an overflight at midday on Monday, mapping and observing the entire length of the June 27th lava flow field.

The breakouts that began about two weeks ago near the area of ground cracks continued to advance downslope over the past week, creating a new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. This lobe is a short distance west of the earlier portion of the June 27th flow that reached Pāhoa. The new lobe advanced about 2.8 km (1.7 miles) over the past week, which is equivalent to about 400 meters per day (0.25 miles per day). A narrow lava channel was active this morning at the leading tip of the new lobe. The leading tip of this active lobe was 4.6 km (2.9 miles) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road (the intersection by Pahoa Marketplace).

The breakouts that began about two weeks ago near the area of ground cracks continued to advance downslope over the past week, creating a new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. This lobe is a short distance west of the earlier portion of the June 27th flow that reached Pāhoa. The new lobe advanced about 2.8 km (1.7 miles) over the past week, which is equivalent to about 400 meters per day (0.25 miles per day). A narrow lava channel was active this morning at the leading tip of the new lobe. The leading tip of this active lobe was 4.6 km (2.9 miles) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road (the intersection by Pahoa Marketplace).

Since the last overflight on November 24, a narrow finger has broken away from the west edge of the flow field and moved to the north by about 2.8 km (1.7 mi), which is an average advance rate of 400 meters/day (440 yards/day). The finger branches off at a point downslope of the crack system where the older flow makes a bend from the north to the northeast. Along its length, the width of the active finger varies from 30 meters (33 yards) to 180 meters (200 yards). The total length of the flow, between Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the front of the new finger, is 18.3 km (11.4 mi) as measured along the flow axis.

A closer look at the narrow lava channel near the leading tip of the active lobe. The channel consists of both open sections as well as sections that are crusted over.

A closer look at the narrow lava channel near the leading tip of the active lobe. The channel consists of both open sections as well as sections that are crusted over.

The new finger is following a different steepest-descent path than the previously active flow lobe. The new forecast path takes the flow towards the intersection of Pāhoa Village Road and Highway 130, in the vicinity of the Pahoa Marketplace. The flow is currently about 4.6 km (2.9 miles) upslope of the intersection as measured along a straight line. The flow is approaching an area of gentler topography, however, where two steepest-descent paths nearly converge. The ultimate flow path is therefore difficult to forecast while the activity remains upslope of this point.

This map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The area of the flow on November 24, 2014, at 12:00 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on December 1 at 11:30 AM is shown in red. Most surface flow activity is focused into a narrow finger that branches off the west edge of the flow field north of the East Rift Zone crack system. The front of this finger (19.475836, -154.986834 Decimal Degrees) was 4.6 km (2.9 mi) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road at the Pahoa Marketplace. The dotted blue lines show the pertinent steepest-descent paths, calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/), that the flow is projected to follow. Note that about 1 km (0.6 mi) downslope from the tip of the active flow two different steepest-descent paths come very close together. This is a location where the ground becomes very flat, and the flow could end up following either (or both) of these paths. Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the dotted blue line can be used to infer only an approximate flow path.  (Click to Enlarge)

The area of the flow on November 24, 2014, at 12:00 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on December 1 at 11:30 AM is shown in red.
Most surface flow activity is focused into a narrow finger that branches off the west edge of the flow field north of the East Rift Zone crack system. The front of this finger was 4.6 km (2.9 mi) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road at the Pahoa Marketplace. (Click to Enlarge)

During the overflight, HVO scientists were also able to measure the cross-sectional area of the lava stream within the tube near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Their result of 2.0 square meters (2.4 square yards) is a 25% reduction in area compared to last week. A smaller lava-stream cross section is consistent with less lava flowing through the tube due to the current summit deflation, which has been ongoing since Saturday morning.

Based on the gentler topography that the flow is approaching and the decrease in cross-sectional area of the lava stream within the tube, it is likely that the advance rate of the narrow finger will slow in the coming days.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the narrow channel at the leading tip of the new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. The normal photograph is partially obscured by smoke from vegetation burning, but the thermal image can "see" through the smoke to show the nature of the channel in detail. Some sections of the channel are completely covered by crust (forming a lava tube), while other sections were open with a smoothly flowing surface.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the narrow channel at the leading tip of the new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. The normal photograph is partially obscured by smoke from vegetation burning, but the thermal image can “see” through the smoke to show the nature of the channel in detail. Some sections of the channel are completely covered by crust (forming a lava tube), while other sections were open with a smoothly flowing surface.

In addition to the narrow finger, weak activity is also present in three areas upslope: 1) surface lava was active where the new finger branches off from the existing flow field; 2) minor surface flows were extending the flow margin to the east at the eastern edge of the crack system; and 3) about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, small amounts of surface lava marked the continued activity of the breakout that started near the Kahaualeʻa cone about two weeks ago. Observations of the stalled flow that extends from the crack system into Pāhoa Village indicate that the lava tube is not being reoccupied, and that this lobe of the flow is effectively inactive.

Daily updates about Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing Boater

The Coast Guard is continuing its search today for a missing boater who placed a mayday call Thursday at 8:03 a.m. saying his vessel was taking on water and in danger of sinking 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona.

HC-130 Hercules

HC-130 Hercules

The Coast Guard has identified the mariner as 67-year-old Ron Ingrahm and is believed to be the sole person aboard the 25-foot sailing vessel Malia which departed Kaunakakai Harbor, Molokai, to Manele Bay, Lanai.

A friend of Ingram called Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center Friday and sited Tuesday as the last time he spoke with him.

Currently searching are an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ahi is no longer part of the search due to sever weather.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a mayday call over VHF radio channel 16 from a distressed mariner at 8:03 a.m. Thursday. The mariner reported flooding on his boat and provided a GPS position approximately 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona near Alenuihaha Channel before communications were lost.

Current on scene weather conditions are 35-mile per hour winds with eight to 15-foot seas.

Coast Guard Seeking Public’s Assistance Locating Vessel in Distress off Kona

The Coast Guard is seeking the public’s assistance after receiving a mayday call from a mariner in distress approximately 46 miles west of Kailua-Kona Thursday.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a mayday call over VHF radio channel 16 from a distressed mariner at 8:03 a.m. The mariner reported flooding on his small boat and provided a GPS position before communications were lost.

HC-130 Hercules

HC-130 Hercules

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched at 8:30 a.m. from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.

The crews arrived on scene and began searching. The Hercules crew dropped a self-locating datum marker buoy to track the currents and assist in plotting a search area.

Current on scene weather conditions are 40-mile per hour winds, 20 foot seas and clear visibility.

The description of the vessel and number of people aboard are unknown.

Anyone with information that could assist in identifying the mariner in distress, the vessel, or voyage plan should contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.

Reopening of Pahoa Village Road Begins Tomorrow

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Sunday November 23rd at 8:00AM.

This morning’s assessment shows that the upslope breakouts remain active.  The breakouts are located approximately 3.6 miles upslope of the Apa’a Street area and consist of surface breakouts and breakouts along the edges or margins of the flow pad.  Presently, all breakout activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and the flow activity will continue to be monitored.

Residents in the down slope areas will be kept informed of any changes and the flow status and advancement.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only.   Access to the businesses and commercial areas of the Pahoa town can be made through the Pahoa Village Road at the intersection of Highways 130 and 132 and the Post Office Road.  We apologize for any inconvenience the road closure may be presenting with and remind everyone that the Pahoa town center and businesses are open and accessible.

Pahoa Village Road

The reopening of the Pahoa Village Road will be initiated starting tomorrow Monday November 24th and may take a few days to complete.  Utility crews will begin to remove the protection placed around the utility poles and this work will require the road to remain closed while equipment is operating in the area.

Civil Defense and public safety personnel will continue to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be posted as conditions change.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your  cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.