HAWAII was once under the fiery influence of the Kilauea volcano, which spouted metric tonnes of lava across the Big Island. Recently, Kilauea has calmed down, allowing evacuation notices to be rescinded, but what is it doing now?
Kilauea volcano was formerly tearing through the Hawaii countryside on Big Island, swallowing homes and displacing thousands.
The volcano had been violently erupting since May, when it explosively blew its top, sending lava cascading into the ocean where an entirely new strip of land has now formed.
Despite violent activity for months, the volcano has not caused any personal harm, apart from a few injuries when a flaming rock crashed into a boat touring the ocean entry.
After levelling a neighbourhood on the coast and rendering some of the island uninhabitable, evacuation orders are being lifted.
Hawaii Mayor Harry Kim has now discarded the evacuation notice for the Leilani estates, once swallowed by Kilauea’s lava flows.
From last week, September 8 at 9am the area east of Pomaika’i Street was opened again after being plagued by lava flows and volcanic gas from Kilauea’s previous activity.
While the evacuation notice has been lifted, the area remains restricted, and people who want to return to their properties will need to request a waiver to restrictions before entering the area.
First responder services in the area are likely to be delayed due to road conditions affecting available access points to the neighbourhood.
In the mean time, repairs have begun, and electric crews have returned to clear out damaged materials, and provide power to the area.
An excerpt from the notice written by mayor Kim reads: “I, Harry Kim, Mayor of the County of Hawaii, do hereby rescind the Mandatory Evacuation Order issued May 31, 2018.
“Access will be limited to residents of Leilani Estates and residents beyond the check point of Highway 132 and Kaniahiku Street.
“A Voluntary Evacuation Advisory of all areas of Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens, Pohoiki Bay Estates, Kapoho Estates, Kapoho Beach Lots, Vacationland, and Kapoho Farm Lots is in effect due to the hazards presented by this eruptive event and that first responders may not be able to respond timely to those areas.”