Article Image
News Link • Hawaiian Islands

The Community in Hawaii Stepped In Beautifully When the Government Failed to Help ...


The eruption of Kilauea displaced thousands of people.

Starting in early May, and following a bevy of earthquakes, lava began flowing forth from the Kilauea volcano on Big Island, Hawaii. For about three months, it spewed forth lava, ash, and sulfur gas. Aside from the lava, another threat from volcano eruptions is called laze (that's a mashup word of lava + haze). Laze describes the mixture of lava and haze that contains hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles.

A month later there were 500 earthquakes reported in one weekend alone. Lava flooding destroyed 5,000 acres of land and around 600 homes in Puna. The Hawaii County Civil Defense warned reporters to keep at least 1,000 feet away from lava because laze is a dangerous substance to breath and gets into eyes. But perhaps more scorching is that by the first week of June, thousands of residents who had been warned to evacuate by authorities were still left displaced after all that time. Some people who were warned to evacuate took their chances and remained near the volcano because they simply had nowhere else to go.

The volcano didn't start slowing down its eruptions until August. P?hoa in the Puna District was especially affected, leaving residents in a constant state of uncertainty.

And of course, the government failed to provide sufficient relief.

It's no secret that the government – more specifically – FEMA, often fails to act adequately or quickly enough when disaster strikes. FEMA has been cited in on-the-ground reports to turn community help away when people bring food, citing ridiculous regulations. Yet some of the food they provided after Hurricane Matthew was allegedly mal-nourishing and didn't meet basic calorie requirements. To make matters worse, a year after the hurricane, the crumbling infrastructure still needed repair and families still needed help – yet FEMA froze the Matthew fund, to send those monies to other, more pressing hurricane relief efforts.

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network: