puna

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

 

 

A year ago today, lava began flowing from steaming ground cracks in Leilani Estates in Puna on the Big Island. This led to a destructive volcanic eruption lasting three months – and some Hawaiʻi Island residents are still trying to recover.

Courtesy of Alaska Aerospace

An Alaska-based company wants to build a spaceport in East Hawaii Island. As it turns out, Puna is one of the best locations in the United States from which to launch rockets. But local residents are not so enthusiastic about the idea. Residents and officials in the company's hometown reported a complex relationship with Alaska Aerospace.

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.

Ben Gaddis / U.S. Geological Survey

Itʻs been six months since lava erupted in the residential community of Leilani Estates on the Big Island. HPR Reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi returned to Puna to check-in on recovery efforts. 

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.

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.

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.

Kilauea Volcano has been erupting for more than a month now. Thousands of Big Island residents have been displaced and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. But natural disasters leave behind more than just physical damage. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has more.

U.S. Geological Survey

Kilauea Volcano has been erupting for three weeks now, destroying 29 homes and covering more than 150 acres of land. But lava isn’t the only force that continues to threaten island residents. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

The Conversation: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

May 11, 2016
Wikipedia

The Future of Geothermal in Hawaii; Mililani Middle School Beekeeping Club; Grid Defection from HECO; Public Private Partnerships in Hawai‘i Schools

What's Next for Geothermal Oversight? Sen Russell Ruderman

Albizia Trees Still a Concern This Hurricane Season

Jul 27, 2015
Rich Wlosinski
Rich Wlosinski

With an active hurricane season expected this year, communities in East Hawai‘i are once again focusing their efforts on the invasive albizia tree. Last year’s Tropical Storm Iselle toppled many of the trees, downing power lines, blocking roads and damaging homes. And as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, many are worried the next big storm could bring similar results.

Lava Picks Up Speed Toward Pahoa Marketplace

Dec 15, 2014
USGS
USGS

UPDATE: Malama Market, the grocery store at Pāhoa Marketplace, announced it plans to evacuate and close its doors by Thursday, December 18th at 6 p.m. The store, which opened its Pāhoa branch in 2005, will begin the process of packing up the shop on Tuesday.

The lava flow in Pāhoa on the Big Island has picked up speed again, moving about 300 yards since yesterday. It’s now about 1.2 miles from the intersection of Pāhoa Village Road and Highway 130.

Big Island Video News
Big Island Video News

  As the lava flow has been creeping through Puna, some have expressed concern about the potential for rising crime rates in the areas affected by lava.  Police do have concerns, but not in Puna.  HPR’s Sherry Bracken talked with police to find out more.

Pahoa Residents Prepare as Lava Edges Closer

Oct 29, 2014
Molly Solomon / Molly Solomon

Lava flowing from Kilauea Volcano towards the town of Pāhoa has finally arrived, crossing residential property lines early Tuesday morning. Residents have had weeks to prepare for this slow-moving disaster and are now faced with the reality that their homes and businesses could be in danger. HPR’s Molly Solomon is in Pāhoa and has this report.

Lava Flow Overtakes Pāhoa Japanese Cemetery

Oct 26, 2014
USGS
USGS

Hawaii County Civil Defense are keeping a close watch on a lava flow that continues to move toward Pāhoa. It's picked up speed in recent days, moving at a speed of 10-15 yards per day. Officials say evacuations may be just days away. 

USGS
USGS

The lava flow heading towards Pahoa reached Apaa Street early Saturday morning. County officials say the lava crossed the road at 3:50 a.m. and was advancing at a rate of 10 yards per hour.

As of Saturday afternoon, the lava flow front is just six-tenths of a mile from Pahoa Village Road, the main drag that runs through town. County crews are currently going door-to-door to about 50 homes, alerting residents that are down-slope of the flow to prepare for a possible evacuation in the next three to five days.

Lava Flow Quickly Advances Toward Pahoa

Oct 24, 2014
USGS
USGS

UPDATED:

A Friday morning flyover revealed the lava flow had moved 300 yards overnight. Hawaii County Civil Defense officials say the leading edge of the approaching flow is now 250 yards, or less than one tenth of a mile, from Apaa Street, near the Pāhoa Transfer Station.

www.bigislandvideonews.com
www.bigislandvideonews.com

  A major concern of Hawai'i County residents is the loss of electric power because of the lava flow.  Hawaiian Electric Company (HELCO) says it is committed to providing power to lower Puna, no matter what.   They’re working on several options.   HPR’s Sherry Bracken explains one.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

The lava flow from Kilauea Volcano's Pu'u 'O'o Vent is continuing its slow movement towards Pahoa and beyond.  HPR's Sherry Bracken talked with the Mayor yesterday to get the latest update.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Hawai'i County has now opened an Incident Command Center in Pāhoa  Village, close to where the lava  from Kīlauea’s Pu’u ‘O’o Vent may enter town.  Key county personnel are on hand to provide the latest information for concerned residents.  HPR’s Sherry Bracken talked with Mayor Billy Kenoi about how the County is addressing this latest crisis.

Baron Sekiya
Baron Sekiya

  Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and Hawai'i County Civil Defense are continuing to monitor the lava making its way towards homes and businesses in Pāhoa.  There are daily helicopter overflights, and both private and government agencies are busily preparing.  HPR’s Sherry Bracken has a report from Hawai'i Island.

Baron Sekiya
Baron Sekiya

  Some Puna residents and businesses owners in Pahoa Village have now accepted the stark reality that lava is heading their way.  But as HPR's Sherry Bracken reports, the timing and precise direction remain uncertain.

www.bigislandvideonews.com
www.bigislandvideonews.com

  One lingering concern following Tropical Storm Iselle centers on Puna Geothermal Ventures. The plant made a series of gas releases during the storm, and many Puna residents are complaining the company has not shared enough information about exactly what happened. HPR’s Sherry Bracken concludes her two part look at the issue.

www.bigislandvideonews.com
www.bigislandvideonews.com

  Members of the Puna community faced many challenges the night of Tropical Storm Iselle.  One was, the Puna Geothermal Ventures plant at Leilani Estates shut down, causing a release of geothermal steam that some people say caused them distress.  Sherry Bracken has the 1st of a 2 part report.

Nago Under Fire For Problematic Primary Election

Aug 25, 2014
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The Hawai‘i Elections Commission is investigating the state’s primary. Nearly 70 people packed into the commission meeting on Friday, with several calling for chief elections officer Scott Nago to be fired. HPR's Molly Solomon was there and has this report.

www.nbcnews.com
www.nbcnews.com

 

   Hawaii Island's emergency responders have been in the news lately as they dealt with the preparation for and the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle.  When it comes to the Fire Department, first responders will soon be honored and supported by a special event.  From Hawaii Island, HPR's Sherry Bracken reports.

Elections Commission Set to Review Primary

Aug 20, 2014
Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The election may be over, but many questions still remain regarding how the office of elections handled the state’s primary. Later this week, the state Elections Commission will take up the issue during a public meeting on Friday. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

Puna Recovery Operations Continue

Aug 18, 2014
Wayne Yoshioka

About 1,500 Hawaii Electric Company customers remain without power in Puna today in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle less than 2 weeks ago.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka visited the area and filed this report.    

Flickr / MattUrsua
Flickr / MattUrsua

As the new work week gets underway, the focus in Puna returns to recovery, rather than politics. Crews restored power to  more than a thousand customers over the weekend.   Nearly 2,000 more remain without power. As for the political story, that came to a resolution on Friday night--at least for now. HPR's Sherry Bracken reports from the big island.

Voices from Puna

Aug 13, 2014
Christy J. Peace
Christy J. Peace

As we've been reporting over the last several days, the district of Puna on Hawai‘i Island was one of those hardest hit by Tropical Storm Iselle.

As part of our coverage on Hawai‘i Public Radio, we want to let you hear people describe their own experiences in segments we're calling "Voices from Puna."

We are continuing to collect anecdotes from residents in Puna. If you'd like to share your story, send us an email to news@hawaiipublicradio.org or give us a call at (808) 792-8251.

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