Early on Tuesday morning, October 28, slow moving pahoehoe lava from the Big Island’s Kilauea Volcano caused a structure fire that burned a farm shed on a private residential property near Pahoa town. As of approximately 12:45pm HST today, Hawaii County Civil Defense reports that the flow is approximately 100 yards from the nearest home and that there approximately 40-50 homes in the immediate path of the flow:
According to reports from Hawaii News Now reporter Mileka Lincoln, media and visitors are being moved further from the flow front to respect the privacy of the families being impacted by the progression of the lava. Although long-time residents of Puna have witnessed the impact of flows from Kilauea in the past, there is no doubt that the approach of this new flow is an emotional time for them and for those with deep connections to Pahoa town and Lower Puna.
Last month (on September 4th), Mayor Billy Kenoi issued a State of Emergency Proclamation for the Puna District related to the lava flow. The following day, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a state Emergency Proclamation followed a supplemental proclamation to allow for the rebuilding of Chain of Craters Road as an alternate emergency route for residents. On October 24, Governor Abercrombie signed a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration that would allow for federal assistance. For homeowners in the area, there are many factors to consider as the lava flow moves toward more populated areas. Real estate agents, insurance agents and government agency representatives working in the area are available to provide updated information as the situation evolves. Hawaii County and State representatives are holding regular meetings in Puna to address the concerns and questions of residents, and many of those meetings are live-streamed by local news sites.
Our aloha goes out to the people being affected today and those who will be watching Pele’s progress in the coming days, weeks and, possibly, months ahead, if the flow continues to the ocean. We will do our best to provide updated information for those with real estate related concerns and property in the area. Please contact one of our East Hawaii offices to speak with a local agent who can assist you with questions you may have about how the flow is impacting real estate transactions in the area, what is a happening with inventory in the communities outside the flow zone, or to get information about local resources that may be helpful if you are considering a purchase or sale in East Hawaii. Property owners who may be looking into offering a home or condo for rent can contact our Hilo property management team for more information.