The situation in Leilani subdivision continues to develop and all residents of Leilani and Lanipuna have been required to evacuate. This situation occurred quickly with little warning to residents and evacuation notices happened fast.

All residents in lower Puna should be putting an emergency plan together. Many will be concerned about access to their homes if eruption continues and crosses major highways. There are several access routes to lower Puna still open at this time, but we know an uncertain future is on many residents’ minds.

Civil Defense and emergency personnel are managing the immediate threat to public safety. Our community organizations, non-profits, and volunteers will need to organize resources outside of the evacuation zone for those impacted.

Housing will be an issue. We saw this in 2014 as lava approached P ā hoa. Rental units were snatched up quickly by those who had the means. Our housing inventory is already very restricted and emergency housing is a concern. We will see what needs to be done in the days ahead and as we do, we will continue to work together as Hawai’i Island ‘ohana.

Mahalo nui loa,

Kehau Costa, HIR Executive Officer