Hawai‘i Island Mayor Signs Mandatory Evacuation Order
Hawaiʻi Island Mayor Harry Kim signed a mandatory evacuation order today requiring the mandatory evacuation of all civilians from a designated portion of the Leilani Estates subdivision, including the area East of Pōmaikaʻi Street (see map).
According to the order, which goes into effect at noon today (May 31, 2018), all persons in the area have 24 hours to evacuate.
Those remaining in the area beyond the effective date and time of the order, do so at their own risk with the knowledge that emergency responders may not respond to assist.
The proclamation states that it has become necessary to supplement an earlier proclamation issued on May 3, 2018 during the onset of the eruption with today’s Mandatory Evacuation Order, “due to the continuous unstable volcanic nature of the fissure eruptions in Leilani Estates now posing an imminent danger to property and bodily injury risk to residents and emergency responders involved in rescue missions in the areas identified.
During the Puna Community Meeting earlier this week, our Big Island Now sister site reported that Mayor Kim said, “I can no longer afford to put residents at risk. I can no longer ask of DOCARE, police, fire, national guard to go banging in the dark in a neighborhood they don’t know to say you must get out.”
Individuals found in violation of the order are subject to arrest and liability for any recovery costs associated with rescue operations. The mandatory order is in effect for 60 days or until further action by the Mayor.
Mayor Kim also signed an Emergency Rule that restricts access to Kapoho Beach Lots, Vacationland and Kapoho Farm Lots, which is bordered by Kapoho-Kumukahi Lighthouse Road, Kapoho Kai Road, Kalapana Kapoho Beach Road (Highway 137) and the ocean (see map).
According to the rule, “This restriction is necessary due to the presently ongoing and active volcanic eruption, which has cut off normal water service to the area and left the area with restricted or limited water service.
Access to the area is effectively limited to: (1) Residents (verified owners of real property within the area or verified lessees of real property or structures thereon within the area with a minimum of a six month lease) with no guests or visitors; (2) County, state or federal government employees and verified government contractors; (3) Employees and volunteers for the following types of non-government organizations: (a) utility providers; (b) recognized humanitarian/disaster response and recovery entities; (c) area businesses and non-profits engaged by county, state or federal government response or recovery operations; and (d) other non-government organizations as approved or requested by the county, state or federal government.
Under the rule, violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,000 or up to one year in prison or both for the misdemeanor offense.