COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
Lava is shown earlier this month flowing in a channel under one of two bridges created after the lava level dropped.
Big Island officials share info about lava flow concerns
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Big Island authorities plan to meet with communities that could be affected by lava flows inching down the northeastern slopes of Kilauea.
Worries about the lava arose in July, when flows that typically head south to the sea changed direction, potentially threatening homes. It also is possible that lava could cross Highway 130 and cut off access to some Puna communities.
Big Island Mayor Harry Kim and county Civil Defense officials also met this week with Gov. Linda Lingle and members of her administration to brief them on the situation.
"The mayor wanted an opportunity to come over and talk to the governor -- just come over and have an opportunity to speak to them about what we see going on over there and make sure they're informed about what's happening," said Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Troy Kindred.
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COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
A narrow channel section at Kilauea Volcano promotes the movement of lava earlier this month.
Big Island authorities keeping watch over potentially dangerous lava activity on Kilauea have briefed Gov. Linda Lingle on the situation and now plan to go out into the community to address residents' concerns.
Although the lava is far from people and property, officials are preparing in case the flows change.
"It's very early in the process," said Troy Kindred, director of the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency. "The truth is, it's not presenting a risk at the current time to any persons or property -- the lava is maintaining itself and staying in a very finite small area.
"Our main purpose was just to do a preliminary meeting and talk about this issue and make sure that we're all on the same sheet of music in a cooperative effort."
Worries about the lava arose in July, when, instead of heading south to the ocean, flows switched to the northeast, uphill from communities.
On Aug. 23, Big Island Mayor Harry Kim declared there was no immediate danger, but eight days later, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued a report stating that if the current aa lava changes to more fluid pahoehoe, flows could travel much farther.
Aside from threatening people and homes, the lava also could cross Highway 130, cutting off access to a number of Puna communities.
"The plan is to monitor this lava flow 24 hours a day with Hawaiian Volcano Observatory as the lead agency," Kindred said.
Kindred, along with Kim and Jim Kauahikaua, scientist-in-charge at the observatory, met Monday with Lingle and members of her administration. * Others in attendance included representatives from the Department of Transportation, Department of Land and Natural Resources and state Civil Defense.
"We'll be working a lot closely with county Civil Defense to provide the kind of support they might need," said Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, director of state Civil Defense. "Basically, it's to inform the people around the area to let them know what's going on."
Kindred said he already has met informally with some community associations and plans to meet with others.
"Part of our plan is to make sure that we discuss this situation with the community in any venue possible," he said. "So if it means going out and talking to a community association or maybe stopping by the market one day and being available, then that's the kind of stuff we want to do to make sure people keep alert.
"People who are kept informed are much better able to respond to the situation."
Thursday, September 20, 2007
» Big Island officials briefed the Lingle administration Monday on the lava activity at Kilauea. A Page A6 article yesterday erroneously reported the meeting was held Tuesday.
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