Hundreds of Kilauea survivors seeking FEMA help as rages on the volcano



Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano spews lava and ash

Hawaii residents begin to assess damage as thousands of people are evacuated; Jeff Paul reports.

More than 800 survivors from the Hawaii Kilauea volcano are looking for the help of the federal government after five weeks of unprecedented unrest and destruction, with no end in sight.

“Everyone has a different story, but I think a lot of people are just not sure, because the gap just keeps going,” Thomas Mason, who evacuated from his home in Leilani Estates with his wife, told Hawaii News Now on Monday.

Mason, who was waiting in the FEMA line for three hours on Friday, got the order to prepare for rejection and be ready for a profession.

He and his wife moved from Maui in November. They were in the midst of building their house on the Big Island as Kilauea erupted on 3 May. Like so many others, they were forced to flee. But unlike most, get money for the reconstruction of their unfinished retirement home will be difficult.

Lava from the Kilauea volcano flows in and around Pahoa, Hawaii, Sunday, 10 June 2018.

(AP Photo/L. E. Baskow)

“You do not get home insurance until you have a home. We got three-quarters of a house,” he said.

For Mason, if FEMA does not come through with money, there is no plan B.


Last week, President Trump approved federal emergency housing aid for the victims of the volcano. The approval came a day after Hawaii Governor David Ige officially asked for federal assistance for the approximately 2,800 residents on the Big Island who have lost their homes.

This photo provided by the U. S. Geological Survey shows the lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is entering the ocean, and the resulting laze plume where lava is entering the sea at Kapoho on the island of Hawaii at dawn Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

(U. S. Geological Survey via AP))

However, there was no specific dollar figure sought by Ige or to the package Trump approved, although The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that eligible homeowners and renters can get $34,000 each.

In addition to money for help with housing, Trump green illuminated lighting from other FEMA programs to help people affected by the Kilauea. They are provided with crisis counseling, unemployment benefits and legal aid.


Kilauea’s recent volcanic eruption is the most destructive in the US since the 1980 explosion of Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington.

Lava from the Kilauea has been spewing for more than a month. The thick, sticky, molten magma is shifted to a larger, hotter flowing river of lava after about 200 metres per hour.

In this May 15, 2018 file photo, lava shoots into the night sky of active cracks in the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano near Pahoa, Hawaii.

(AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

On Monday, volcanologists said magma beneath the surface of the crack 8 is warmer and less crystallized than they thought.

“The whole lower east rift zone has a plumbing system with two mules below the surface and is the supply of hotter magma in the crack 8, that is giving runnier lava flows to the ocean,” Charles Mandeville, program coordinator for the volcano hazards program of the U. S. Geological Survey, said.

The geological phenomenon has aroused the curiosity of many visitors and residents of the Big Island. Since the eruptions began, about 40 people have been arrested for loitering in lava zones, according to the officials.

The authorities say that those caught face steep fines and up to a year in prison.

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