Hawaii island mayor lifts mandatory evacuation order for lava-ravaged Leilani Estates

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Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim is lifting the mandatory evacuation order for Leilani Estates, effective Saturday, September 8, at 9 a.m.

The area east of Pomaikai Street had been closed since May 31, 2018 due to lava flows and volcanic gas from the Kilauea Lower East Rift Zone eruption.

Access to Leilani Estates will remain restricted to residents and authorized personnel only. The entire flow field, including a 50-yard perimeter, remains off limits. Residents with property within the 50-yard flow field perimeter must notify Civil Defense for a waiver. 

Residents returning to portions of the impacted area in Leilani Estates may experience delays of first responder services due to limited access points and road conditions. 

“Leilani Estates was evacuated to preserve health and safety, and to protect residents until the hazards were reduced from the eruption” said Kim. “We are happy residents can return to their homes but caution everyone to stay vigilant and be prepared as conditions can change rapidly.”

Residents moving back into their homes should take the following safety precautions.

  • Maintain awareness – Have a rapid retreat plan and monitor messages from Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and HVO. The eruption could resume at any time.
  • Consider eye and breathing protection against volcanic particulates, which irritate the eyes, respiratory system and skin. Be aware that sweeping, shoveling, or wiping the material can produce glassy dust.
  • Volcanic gases are still present around and downwind of fissures, particularly Fissure 8, and some cracks. Such emissions might take weeks or months to cease once eruptive activity ends.
  • Be aware of large ground cracks which remain on roads and across land parcels, and be mindful while walking or driving in the area.
  • Dead vegetation – Trees and other vegetation killed during the eruption may fall suddenly.

The Leilani Estates Community Center will be open on Saturday at 9 a.m.  Personnel from Civil Defense and the Leilani Community Association will provide information to residents returning to their homes.

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