THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

69

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the hawaii emergency management agency to develop an evacuation plan for the areas within lava zones 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.

 

 


WHEREAS, Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on Earth, rising approximately 13,680 feet above the Pacific Ocean; and

 

WHEREAS, Mauna Loa encompasses more than half the area of the island of Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted thirty-three times, averaging one eruption every five years; and

 

WHEREAS, Mauna Loa's most recent eruption occurred from March 24 to April 15, 1984, the result of more than two years of increased seismicity and summit inflation; and

 

WHEREAS, volcanic hazards associated with a Mauna Loa eruption include:

 

(1) Voluminous, fast-moving lava flows due to its steep slopes;

 

(2) Potentially large and destructive earthquakes and ground motion due to vertical and horizontal movements of the volcano's flanks as it inflates;

 

(3) Volcanic gas emissions and dense vog that can be a nuisance or potential health hazard to people downwind of the vent; and

 

(4) Possible explosive eruptions and associated ashfall that can impact air traffic; and

 

WHEREAS, the Kīlauea volcano is currently erupting with lava pouring into the lava lake within Halemaumau crater; and

 

WHEREAS, volcanic hazards associated with the active Kīlauea volcano include:

 

(1) High levels of volcanic gas being continuously released during eruptions, and

 

(2) Rockfalls and minor explosions, which may suddenly occur without warning; and

 

WHEREAS, lava flows from Kīlauea and Mauna Loa will interfere with human activity and infrastructure as development and communities increase around these active volcanos; and

 

WHEREAS, according to the 2010 census, the island of Hawaii is the fastest growing region in the State, which includes several developments on the slopes of Mauna Loa including Hawaiian Ocean View Estates; and

 

WHEREAS, if a Mauna Loa eruption occurs along the southwest rift zone, slopes steeper than fifteen degrees, a history of high effusion rates, and the close proximity of developed areas put South Kona and Kau at significant risk; and

 

WHEREAS, eruptions on the southwest flank of Kīlauea are a threat to land within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the district of Kau; and

 

WHEREAS, as Mamalahoa Highway remains the only infrastructure connecting Kau to South Kona, an eruption on Mauna Loa's southern flank would be especially devastating to those individuals who do business in Kona town; and

 

WHEREAS, precious little time may be available for response or evacuation efforts in the South Kona and Kau areas; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is the emergency management agency for the State and serves as the coordinating agency between the four county emergency management agencies; and

 

WHEREAS, while all disaster response starts at the county level, it is critical that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency be prepared to respond to county requests for state assistance in the case of hazardous volcanic activity; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is requested to develop an evacuation plan for the areas within lava zones 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, which include but are not limited to South Kona and Kau; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is requested to submit the evacuation plan to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and Mayor of the County of Hawaii.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency; District 3; Evacuation Plan