Tsang SWR, Lindsay JM, Deligne NI. 2019. Short-term preparation for and response to an impending lava flow: lessons from the June 27th lava flow (2014–2015), Hawaii, USA. Lower Hutt (NZ): GNS Science. 87 p. (GNS Science report 2019/61). doi:10.21420/XPT9-XG94.
On 27 June 2014, a lava flow began erupting from Kīlauea Volcano that eventually threatened the town of Pāhoa, Hawaii, USA. As the lava flow approached town limits, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense led local scientists, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and local businesses in efforts to prepare the town for potential impacts. Key measures included holding at least daily press conferences and weekly community meetings, building three evacuation routes, creating power pole protection structures and building a temporary fire station, school and solid waste transfer station. Their measures, together with numerous other efforts, supported communities affected by the crisis. To collate learnings from the nine-month ‘June 27th Lava Flow’ event, we undertook a series of interviews and focus groups with key personnel and community members. Here, we draw on our discussions to describe preparation and response efforts across 16 government departments and six local businesses and non-governmental organisations. Additionally, we present community members’ views on communal response efforts, as well as their own actions. We end this report by highlighting lessons from our interviews and focus groups that our participants believe might be useful for those responsible for preparing for and responding to effusive eruptions in analogous volcanic regions. (auth)