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Emergency proclamation for the advancing lava flow signed

September 4, 2014 - 11:44am

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi today signed an emergency proclamation for the advancing lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area after the flow extended to less than a mile from the edge of the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision.

“We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets, and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Kaohe in the event the flow continues to advance,” Kenoi said.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said the proclamation allows county authorities to restrict access to Kaohe Homestead roadways so that residents can move safely if an evacuation becomes necessary.

Oliveira stressed no evacuation has been ordered at this time. He urged residents to finalize their evacuation plans and monitor county Civil Defense updates closely in the days ahead.

Civil Defense employees will continue today to conduct door-to-door visits to each home in Kaohe to explain the situation to residents, and to help them to prepare.

“Only residents will be allowed on the subdivision roads starting today, and we ask that nonresidents stay away from the area,” Oliveira said. “The lava cannot be seen from the subdivision, and there is no reason for nonresidents to be in the Kaohe subdivision at this time. This is a difficult and stressful time for Kaohe residents, and we ask that everyone show respect and understanding for our Kaohe neighbors.”

Hawaii County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are holding a series of public meetings to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area, and the next update is at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.