• puako-general-store
  • what-to-do-media
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • 10% Off WikiFresh

  • Say When

    December 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Nov    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  

New Satellite Image Shows Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Monday, November 30, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in two main areas. First, small scattered breakouts are active as far as 5.8 km (3.6 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, continuing the activity we have seen over the past several months. Second, the breakout that began on November 25 continues to be active, but this breakout is still relatively minor and extends no farther than 2 km (1.2 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Puna Lava Flow Still Active

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

On yesterday’s overflight, breakouts were active as far as 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Some of this activity was at the forest boundary, burning vegetation. This narrow lobe, one of several active on the flow field today, traveled over earlier Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava (light brown) to reach the forest boundary.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains relatively steady. This photograph looks towards the southwest, and shows outgassing from numerous areas in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. On the far side of the crater, the small circular pit (right of center) had a small lava pond that was too deep to see from this angle.

As shown in the May 21 field photos, the small forested cone of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been slowly buried by flows over the past several months.

hvo154All that remains today are narrow portions of the rim standing above the lava.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Summit activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu

A wide view of the northern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, on an exceptionally clear day.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

HVO and Jaggar Museum can be seen as the light-colored spot on the caldera rim. Mauna Loa is in the distance.

Click to enlarge

Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, looking west. Click to enlarge

The dark area on the crater floor consists of recent overflows from the Overlook crater. The Overlook crater is near the left edge of the photo, and a portion of the active lava lake surface can be seen below the rim.

 

New Satellite Image Released of Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Saturday, May 30, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

PrintAlthough this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The farthest active lava in this image is 7.9 km (4.9 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Mayor Kenoi Extends Emergency Proclamation for Puna Lava Flow

Yesterday, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi signed a fourth proclamation relating to the events of the June 27th Lava Flow.

Click to view proclamation

Click to view proclamation

A fourth supplementary proclamation pertaining to the declared state of emergency in Puna was issued March 30th by Mayor Billy Kenoi, extending the emergency for another 60 days.

Men Get Lost Trying to View Lava – Fire Department Helicopter Saves the Day

Two male newcomers to the Big Island got lost in a heavily forested area of the Big Island in what appears to be an attempt to see the lava flow.

Hawaii Fire Department reports that the party was lost on their way coming out of the “pristine rainforest” Thursday, January 29, 2015.  On the way out of the forest they couldn’t find the trail they came in and called a friend on their cell phones to report that they were lost.

They stayed overnight in the forest and Hawaii County Fire Department’s Chopper One assisted in rescuing them this morning.

Here is the Fire Departments incident report:

Stupid Lava Hikers

Puna Lava Flow Causes Runaway Brush Fires – Evacuation Not Required Yet

This is a brush fire information update for Thursday January 15th at 3:30PM.

11515pic12

The Hawaii Fire Department reports two runaway brushfires in the area of the lava flow in Pahoa.  Both fires started from the active lava flow and are currently burning in a north/northeast direction.  The fires are located to the west or above highway 130 and approximately .6 to .9 miles from the Ainaloa subdivision.

The fires have not yet burned to the fire break adjacent to the Ainaloa subdivision and currently no homes or properties are threatened.  No evacuation is required at this time.

Fire department personnel and equipment are on scene along with helicopters and a bull dozer working to contain and extinguish the fires.

Additional updates will be broadcast as conditions change.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense

Lava Flow Crosses Fire Break – Brush Fire Reignited

The lava flow has gone over the fire break line that was designed to hopefully contain the fires that were happening from the Puna Lava Flow and a brush fire has reignited in the Hawaiian Home Lands area of Puna.

Brush fire 115

Brush fire at 12:50 this afternoon

Another fire break line is currently being made to hopefully protect residents and businesses in the affected area of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Pu'u O'o erupting on the left... Brush fire down the slope on the right.

Pu’u O’o erupting on the left… Brush fire down the slope on the right.

Civil Defense is waiting for an update from Hawaii County Fire Department to make an assessment on their plan of actions.

A shelter will be set up at the Pahoa Community Center if an evacuation is ordered.  In the mean time… here is the Civil Defense Message that was published before the brush fire broke out.

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Thursday January 15th at 11:30 AM.

Today’s helicopter over flight and assessment will be delayed however preliminary ground assessments show that the original flow front and south margin breakout remain stalled. A breakout along the north side of the flow is active and has advanced down slope to an area near the stalled front. This current active down slope breakout has advanced approximately 200 yards per day over the past two days and is located 0.6 miles from the area of Highway 130 to the west or mauka of the Pahoa Police and Fire Stations. Two breakouts along the north margin approximately 1-1.5 miles further upslope or behind the flow front remain active and a more thorough assessment will be performed later today. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are maintaining close observations of the flow. All current activity does not pose a threat to area communities and residents and businesses down slope will be informed of any changes in flow activity and advancement.

With the ongoing dry weather conditions, brush fire activity related to the lava flow is likely. Hawaii Fire Department personnel and equipment are on scene and monitoring the fire conditions. There is currently no fire threat to area residents and properties.

Smoke and vog conditions were heavy with a southwest wind blowing the smoke in a northeast direction over the areas of lower Puna through Hilo. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and individuals who may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

Additional updates will be broadcast as conditions change.

On behalf of the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and our partners we would like to thank everyone for your assistance and cooperation.

270 Acre Brush Fire Started By Puna Lava Flow

The brush fire sparked by the lava flow yesterday burned 270 acres in Puna yesterday.
270 AcresAs of 12:30 this evening… it looks like the lava flow is still active in the vicinity of today’s brush fires.
111415picI had family and friends reporting of falling ash on their properties in the Ainaloa and Orchidland Subdivisions of the Big Island today.

Will follow things tomorrow as this lava flow changes each and every day.

NASA Robot Plunges Into Volcano to Explore Fissure

Volcanoes have always fascinated Carolyn Parcheta. She remembers a pivotal moment watching a researcher take a lava sample on a science TV program video in 6th grade.

“I said to myself, I’m going to do that some day,” said Parcheta, now a NASA postdoctoral fellow based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Carolyn Parcheta, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, plans to take this robot, VolcanoBot 2, to explore Hawaii's Kilauea volcano in March 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Carolyn Parcheta, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, plans to take this robot, VolcanoBot 2, to explore Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in March 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Exploring volcanoes is risky business. That’s why Parcheta and her co-advisor, JPL robotics researcher Aaron Parness, are developing robots that can get into crevices where humans wouldn’t be able to go, gaining new insights about these wondrous geological features.

“We don’t know exactly how volcanoes erupt. We have models but they are all very, very simplified. This project aims to help make those models more realistic,” Parcheta said.

Parcheta’s research endeavors were recently honored in National Geographic’s Expedition Granted campaign, which awards $50,000 to the next “great explorer.” Parcheta was a finalist, and was voted number 2 by online participants for her research proposal for exploring volcanoes with robots.

“Having Carolyn in the lab has been a great opportunity for our robotics team to collaborate with someone focused on the geology. Scientists and engineers working together on such a small team is pretty rare, but has generated lots of great ideas because our perspectives on the problems are so different,” Parness said.

The research has implications for extraterrestrial volcanoes. On both Earth and Mars, fissures are the most common physical features from which magma erupts. This is probably also true for the previously active volcanoes on the moon, Mercury, Enceladus and Europa, although the mechanism of volcanic eruption — whether past or present — on these other planetary bodies is unknown, Parcheta said.

“In the last few years, NASA spacecraft have sent back incredible pictures of caves, fissures and what look like volcanic vents on Mars and the moon. We don’t have the technology yet to explore them, but they are so tantalizing! Working with Carolyn, we’re trying to bridge that gap using volcanoes here on Earth for practice. We’re learning about how volcanoes erupt here on Earth, too, and that has a lot of benefits in its own right,” Parness said.

VolcanoBot 1

VolcanoBot 1

Parcheta, Parness, and JPL co-advisor Karl Mitchell first explored this idea last year using a two-wheeled robot they call VolcanoBot 1, with a length of 12 inches (30 centimeters) and 6.7-inch (17-centimeter) wheels. It is a spinoff of a different robot that Parness’s laboratory developed, the Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP).

“We took that concept and redesigned it to work inside a volcano,” Parcheta said.

For their experiments in May 2014, they had VolcanoBot 1 roll down a fissure – a crack that erupts magma – that is now inactive on the active Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

Finding preserved and accessible fissures is rare. VolcanoBot 1 was tasked with mapping the pathways of magma from May 5 to 9, 2014. It was able to descend to depths of 82 feet (25 meters) in two locations on the fissure, although it could have gone deeper with a longer tether, as the bottom was not reached on either descent.

“In order to eventually understand how to predict eruptions and conduct hazard assessments, we need to understand how the magma is coming out of the ground. This is the first time we have been able to measure it directly, from the inside, to centimeter-scale accuracy,” Parcheta said.

VolcanoBot 1 is enabling the researchers to put together a 3-D map of the fissure. They confirmed that bulges in the rock wall seen on the surface are also present deep in the ground, but the robot also found a surprise: The fissure did not appear to pinch shut, although VolcanoBot 1 didn’t reach the bottom. The researchers want to return to the site and go even deeper to investigate further.

Specifically, Parcheta and Parness want to explore deeper inside Kilauea with a robot that has even stronger motors and electrical communications, so that more data can be sent back to the surface. They have responded to these challenges with the next iteration: VolcanoBot 2.

VolcanoBot 2 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, at a length of 10 inches (25 centimeters). Its vision center can tip up and down, with the ability to turn and look at features around it.

“It has better mobility, stronger motors and smaller (5 inch, or 12 centimeter) wheels than the VolcanoBot 1. We’ve decreased the amount of cords that come up to the surface when it’s in a volcano,” Parcheta said.

While VolcanoBot 1 sent data to the surface directly from inside the fissure, data will be stored onboard VolcanoBot 2. VolcanoBot 2 has an electrical connection that is more secure and robust so that researchers can use the 3-D sensor’s live video feed to navigate.

The team plans to test VolcanoBot 2 at Kilauea in early March.

The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for NASA.

Brush Fire Caused By Lava Flow Being Monitored

A brush fire caused by the Puna lava flow was reported this afternoon near the firewall.
brushfire
Hawaii Civil Defense reports that about 15 acres are currently on fire and the Hawaii Fire Department is on the scene attempting to put the fire out.

1915map

Puna Lava Flow Heads Towards Ainaloa

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow has not advanced any closer to Pahoa Marketplace, but is still active. Breakouts were also active near the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site, and along the distal 3 km (2 miles) of the flow, where a narrow lobe has been advancing toward the north-northeast.

The view is to the southwest.  (Click to enlarge)

The view is to the southwest. (Click to enlarge)

This shows a comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the flow front. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. White and yellow pixels in the thermal image show areas of active breakouts.

 Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled, the thermal image shows that active breakouts are present a short distance upslope of the stalled tip.  (Click to enlarge)

Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled, the thermal image shows that active breakouts are present a short distance upslope of the stalled tip. (Click to enlarge)

This view, looking northeast, shows the distal part of the flow, with the flow lobe behind Pahoa Marketplace to the right and the newer north-northeast advancing lobe to the left.

Ainaloa at top left.  (Click to enlarge)

Ainaloa at top left. (Click to enlarge)

The north-northeast lobe is following a drainage that leads to the steepest-descent path that crosses Highway 130 about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the Maku`u Farmer’s Market. The flow, however, is still 3.5 km (2.2 mi) upslope from that spot and moving slowly.

This photo shows a closer view of the narrow north-northeast advancing lobe about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) upslope from the Pahoa Markplace. The view is to the northwest. (Click to enlarge)

This photo shows a closer view of the narrow north-northeast advancing lobe about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) upslope from the Pahoa Markplace. The view is to the northwest. (Click to enlarge)

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

New Satellite Image Released of Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Sunday, January 4, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.
Print
The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Tuesday, December 30.

The image above shows a close-up of the June 27th lava flow in the area of Kaohe Homesteads and Pāhoa. Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled recently, active breakouts have persisted a short distance upslope of this stalled tip. The image shows active breakouts (red pixels) roughly 400 meters (440 yards) upslope of the stalled tip, with additional breakouts scattered 2-3 km (1.2-1.9 miles) upslope. Also, several small breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks, near the abandoned well site.

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.

New Satellite Images Show Extent of Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, December 25, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.   Click to enlarge

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22. Click to enlarge

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.

The image above shows a close-up of the June 27th lava flow in the area of Kaohe Homesteads and Pāhoa. Although the leading tip of the flow stalled earlier this week, active breakouts have persisted a short distance upslope of this stalled front. The image shows active breakouts (red pixels) roughly 150 meters (160 yards) upslope of the stalled tip, with additional breakouts scattered upslope.

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.  (click to enlarge)

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22. (click to enlarge)

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, December 25, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The image above shows the extent of the entire June 27th lava flow, from its vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō to the flow front near Pāhoa, and provides an overview of the distribution of active breakouts on the flow. Near the vent, an area of active breakouts is present about 3 km (2 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Farther downslope, breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks. Closer to the flow front, breakouts are scattered just uplslope of the stalled tip of the flow.

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.

Oceanic Time Warner Message for Puna District Regarding Lava Flow

Notice to Customers in the Puna District Regarding Kīlauea Volcano Lava Flow:

As a result of stepped up activities surrounding the lava flow situation in Pahoa, until further notice, we have closed our satellite location at Pahoa Community Center.

Oceanic has set up free WiFi access at the Community Center in Pahoa.  This free WiFi will be available until your services are restored. TWC Wifi access has also been set up at Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center, Hawaiian Shores Community Association and Hawaiian Shores Park.

For daily eruption updates including the latest information on the currently active June 27th lava flow, please visit the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/.

The employees of Oceanic wish you and your family all the best during this difficult time.

 

Department of Health Operating Air Monitoring Stations in Response to Lava Flow Activities

The State of Hawaii Department of Health is currently operating three (3) air monitoring stations in the Pahoa and Leilani estates area in response to the current and ongoing eruption and lava flow activities.  These monitors detect the presence of air borne particles that may result from the burning materials (vegetation , grass, brush, and other materials).

air quality guide

The data and information being collected by these monitors can be viewed at the following web site:  http://emdweb.doh.hawaii.gov/air-quality/ , click on “Quick Look” then go to “Puna Special Sites”.

 

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.