Hawaii Will Get Millions in Stimulus Funds for Volcano Monitoring

U.S. Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye announced yesterday that the U.S. Geological Survey will invest millions of dollars in Hawaii for volcano monitoring, flood monitoring, and water program maintenance projects as part of the federal economic stimulus package.

“Home to Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Hawaii knows how critically important volcano monitoring is,” the senators said in a joint statement. “It was just 25 years ago this month that a Mauna Loa eruption ended after sending lava within 4 miles of Hilo. This funding is significant because we need to know what our volcanoes are doing to prepare for eruptions, lava, vog, earthquakes and other disasters, to help save lives and protect public and private property.”

The USGS will spend $15.2 million nationwide to modernize equipment in the National Volcano Early Warning System at all five USGS volcano observatories, including the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. According to the USGS, Hawaii will receive the second largest portion of the funding behind Alaska.

Exact state-by-state figures have not yet been announced pending competitive bidding of contracts.

The HVO monitors volcanoes Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, Haleakala and Loihi, as well as hazards such as earthquakes, vog and lava ocean entry.

In addition, the USGS will dedicate $560,000 to upgrades in streamgages used in flood monitoring and water program maintenance in Hawaii.

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