Maui News

President Signs Disaster Declaration for Pāhoa Lava Flow

November 3, 2014, 3:22 PM HST
* Updated November 4, 6:50 AM
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A breakout occurs from an inflated lobe of the June 27th lava flow on Sunday morning, November 2, 2014.  This is upslope of the stalled leading edge.  Photo courtesy USGS/ Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

A breakout occurs from an inflated lobe of the June 27th lava flow on Sunday morning, November 2, 2014. This is upslope of the stalled leading edge. Photo courtesy USGS/ Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

By Maui Now Staff

President Barack Obama today signed a public assistance Disaster Declaration for federal aid to supplement emergency measures associated with the June 27th Pāhoa lava flow on Hawaiʻi Island.

The declaration was in response to an Oct. 24 request made by Governor Neil Abercrombie for federal aid.

The Presidential Disaster Declaration allows for emergency protective measures under the Public Assistance Program and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to assist Hawaiʻi County with protective measures.

Emergency work already undertaken by the Hawaiʻi County includes repair, restoration, and re-establishment of alternate routes in and out of affected communities.

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The state Department of Education is also working to accommodate an estimated 900 school kids that will be displaced by the lava flow.

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The funding is also expected to help the county in its request for additional monitoring of air quality for residents in affected communities.

The County of Hawaiʻi Civil Defense Agency issued an update at 8:15 this morning saying the flow front remains active however has not advanced since Thursday.

The agency says the flow front remains approximately 480 feet from Pāhoa Village Road with additional breakouts upslope of the flow.  The Pāhoa Village Road between Apaʻa Street and the Post Office Road remains closed and is still limited to area residents only.

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Smoke conditions were described as “light to moderate” with moderate trade winds from the northeast “pushing the smoke in a south southwest direction.”

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