Hawaii Island

Reports from Sherry Bracken

David Slater / The Nature Conservancy

Coral reefs in West Hawaiʻi are showing signs of recovery from the global El Niño event in 2015.

Sherry Bracken

Hawaii Island’s electric utility, HELCO, has had a year of challenges.  In the 2018 lava flow, HELCO lost lines and poles that served more than 940 structures. The company lost the 30 megawatts of power being supplied by Puna Geothermal. But as HELCO deals with this work, it will do so under new leadership.

U.S. Geological Survey

As Hawaiʻi’s state legislature prepares to open its session next week, counties are weighing in with some of their priorities.

George / Wikimedia Commons

Vivid images of volcanic eruptions captured the world’s attention this year, but frightened off visitors. 

Rick©Kent / Wikimedia Commons

Hawai'i Island and Kona are well known for the Ironman Triathlon, a 140 mile swim, bike run event that takes place each October.  But starting tomorrow, an even more grueling endurance event will begin.

Pixabay

The State Department of Health is holding a public hearing in Hilo on Wednesday regarding the future of a new power plant. The Hu Honua Bioenergy facility on the Hamakua Coast would burn eucalyptus trees to generate electricity. Some say that its clean, renewable energy, but other community members have serious environmental concerns.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrea Anderson / U.S. Coast Guard

Hawai'i Island has had housing shortages for years.  When hundreds of homes were destroyed in the lava flow this spring and summer, that problem got worse. The county government has been taking steps to help — including a housing fair later this month.

U.S. Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey recently released its “Volcanic Threat Assessment.” That’s an indicator of the potential severity of impacts that could result from future eruptions at various volcanoes. Hawai'i Island’s Kīlauea Volcano was number one on the list – with the greatest potential impact. But that does not mean a new eruption is imminent, even though the volcano erupted continuously from 1983 until early August of this year.

U.S. Geological Survey

The eruption of Kīlauea earlier this year destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes. Lava also swept through more than a thousand acres of farmland. 

Sherry Bracken

One of the world's most grueling athletic events is in Kona this weekend. It also brings a boost to tourism. That's something the Big Island can use, after visitors have slumped following May's lava flow.

Pixabay

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released an environmental assessment of a major project: the replacement of a large cesspool on the Big Island that serves thousands of people in the Pahala area. 

W.H. Shipman Ltd.

On Hawaiʻi Island, Pahoa’s emergency shelter closed this week — after helping local residents since the latest lava flow broke out in May. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the Puna District — the fastest-growing community on the Big Island. That makes a housing shortage there even worse, but now there are plans for a new development that may include 900 homes in Puna.

VAPES/Flickr / Creative Commons License 2.0

The Food and Drug Administration has told top makers of popular vaping devices they have 60 days to come up with a plan to keep their flavored products away from teenagers or face removal from the market. In Hawai'i, the problem is even more rampant than on the mainland — especially among young people. And statistics show that Hawaii Island has the highest youth vaping rate in the state.

United States Department of Defense

Despite some glowing heat from fissure 8, the Kīlauea lava flow has slowed down, at least for the time being.  But the destruction and displacement from the flow into lower Puna which began May 3rd is still being addressed by county, state and federal agencies.  We get an update on the federal response from HPR Contributing Reporter Sherry Bracken.



Ken Lund / Flickr

It’s been a little more than a week since Hurricane Lane passed by Hawaii. The storm brought torrential rains to some parts of the state—especially certain areas of Hawaii Island. The Kona districts were fairly unscathed, while districts from South Kohala through Ka’u were hit hard--especially in East Hawaii. The recovery has begun, but it’s moving in stages.

Global Virtual Studio

This was a big weekend for a special export from Hawai‘i. A movie produced and shot on the Big Island debuted in mainland theaters. It’s the latest product from a collaboration involving state funding and private investment.

Mark Wasser / National Park Service

A brushfire continues to burn inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and now threatens critical habitat for the endangered ʻiʻiwi birds.

U.S. Geological Survey

If you’re facing damages from the lava flow on the Big Island, the government wants to hear from you. But the clock is ticking. Both the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration have been on Hawai'i Island since shortly after the lava flow began. But authorities are concerned that not everyone eligible for help has signed up.

U.S. Geological Survey

The eruption at Kilauea has been disrupting life in Puna for almost 3 months. At present, over 700 homes have been destroyed. Many more have been abandoned due to unsafe conditions and lack of access.

Some residents have been receiving payouts from their homeowners insurance to cover the damage. But others are not so lucky. One Big Island couple is suing their insurer over the company's lack of response.

Navin75 / Flickr

An unknown disease is killing wild horses in Waipiʻo Valley on Hawaiʻi Island.

U.S. Geological Survey

The lava flow on Hawai'i Island continues to touch residents around the island. In the lower Puna District, many concerns center on air quality and property damage. But there's another area that's seeing an impact: real estate prices.

U.S. Geological Survey

Lava continues to flow in the east rift zone of Kīlauea volcano, and several times a week there are new explosions at the summit. While the volcanic activity continues, some are already looking ahead to future development of the area near the volcano, and whether hazard zone maps from the U.S. Geological Survey can help.

U.S. Geological Survey

One of the many impacts of the ongoing lava eruption on the Big Island is on the supply of electricity. There is less power, but the Hawaiian Electric Light Company has also lost customers. So far, there’s been no obvious impact to remaining consumers — at least in terms of turning on their lights.

U.S. Geological Survey

A total of 24 fissures have appeared since May 3rd in Leilani Estates. The eruption has destroyed more than 650 homes, and lava has covered more than 6,000 acres of land. 

Housing Challenges for Displaced Puna Residents

Jun 26, 2018
Brandee Menino

It’s an effort relief workers describe as overwhelming; the displacement of hundreds of families in the wake of the Kilauea disaster. The destruction of over 500 is adding a new population to the already growing numbers of homeless on Hawaii Island. 

U.S. Geological Survey

The eruption at Kīlauea continues to send ash plumes into the sky and push lava into the ocean. While that has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced scores of people into shelters, it is also providing an unprecedented opportunity for scientific research.

U.S. Geological Survey

Relocation has begun for some Puna residents forced from their homes by the Kilauea Eruption. Lava has been flowing on the Big Island for more than six weeks now, covering nearly 6,000 acres and destroying more than 500 homes. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi has this story.

U.S. Geological Survey

The ongoing eruption at Kīlauea summit continues to produce ash and gas explosions around once a day. Each is preceded by dozens of relatively small seismic events, but they are not what you might think of as traditional earthquakes.

U.S. Geological Survey

It's now been more than a month since the most recent intense volcanic activity started on Hawaiʻi Island. The strain is showing up on many fronts: from emotional distress to trouble for local businesses. Hawaiʻi County is collecting data on the financial strain — but with a very tight deadline. 

Mandatory Evacuations Strain Residents and Responders

Jun 1, 2018
U.S Department of Defense

Yesterday, Mayor Kim ordered the mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods in lower Puna as fast advancing lava flows puts more families at risk. Residents had until noon today to get out of harm's way or take the chance that they may not be able to be rescued - or face incurring the costs of a rescue. 

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