• Lava fork

Preparing for Pele

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Finding a Path Forward

The eruptions of the past 30-plus years have highlighted the vulnerability of our communities to volcanic hazards, particularly on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone. 

With this in mind, Hawai‘i County must consider how to best adapt to this hazard and reduce risk to life and property in high-risk areas. Issues being explored include restoration of infrastructure, voluntary buyouts of property, and development restrictions.

Read below to explore hazard mitigation options and potential strategies.

Reducing Risk

What is hazard mitigation?

Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters.

How Can a Community Reduce Exposure?

"Make room for the volcano"

  • Changes in land use and density.
  • Relocation.
  • Recreational/cultural uses of impacted areas.

Change how we build

  • Code changes/enforcement.
  • Hardening structures to vog, tephra or ash. 

 Lava map

"Land is Chief"

The loss of homes and infrastructure reminds us that what we put on the land, particularly in high-risk areas, is only temporary. How should ‘āina fit into recovery? Here are some examples of comments we received from residents:

"The land dictates what should be done on it, and man is there to see to the best use of the lands."

"Our problem today is that we desire permanence, but our land and its patterns demand impermanence and for us to be dynamic along with it."

"The health and wealth of the people is a marker to the health and wealth of the land."