May 20, 2018

Hirono Visits Volcano-Impacted Communities on Hawaii Island

HILO– Senator Mazie K. Hirono visited with Hawaii Island residents who have been displaced by volcanic activity in lower Puna. Senator Hirono received a briefing at Emergency Operations Center in Hilo from Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim, the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory, the Hawaii National Guard, Hawaii County Civil Defense, Federal Aviation Administration, and other federal, state, and county agencies who are coordinating response efforts. 

“While Puna continues to face significant challenges, it’s heartening to watch the community come together to help one another,” Senator Hirono said. “There are 12 federal agencies on the ground to support state and county agencies in keeping Hawaii Island residents safe and provide resources to what will be a lengthy relief and recovery process. I will continue to work with these agencies in the weeks and months ahead as this community responds to and recovers from this natural disaster.”

Senator Hirono visited the Pahoa Community Regional Center and the Keaau Community Center, two of the three shelters established to care for displaced residents, and Puuhonua o Puna, a community-run information and supply hub. 

Senator Hirono also received a briefing from Brigadier General Kenneth Hara and members of Joint Task Force 50 at the Keaukaha Military Reservation.

Senator Hirono published resources and information from government agencies on her website for Hawaii residents affected by recent natural disasters. This page includes instructions for replacing important documents and updated information on federal services in impacted communities. Last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senator Hirono’s bill to strengthen volcano monitoring centers like the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.