Earlier this summer, Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii began spewing lava sending a flow headed straight for the town of Pahoa. On October 5, 2014, the Governor of Hawaii Neil Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation in preparation for lava crossing a major highway, which could cut off access to communities in the lava’s path.
In response to an October 24 request made by Governor Neil Abercrombie for federal aid to supplement local emergency protective measures in response to the June 27 lava flow, President Barack Obama today signed a Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance.
Today’s Presidential Disaster Declaration allows for emergency protective measures under the Public Assistance Program and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to assist Hawaii County.
Emergency protective measures undertaken by Hawaii County include the repair, restoration, and re-establishment of alternate routes in and out of affected communities. State efforts include measures to accommodate approximately 900 schoolchildren that will be displaced by the lava flow, and support to county requests for additional air quality monitoring.