Tsang SWR, Lindsay JM. 2019. Response to and short-term recovery from a lava flow inundation: lessons from the 2018 Lower East Rift Zone eruption at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii, USA. Lower Hutt (NZ): GNS Science. 82 p. (GNS Science report; 2019/75). doi:10.21420/MW46-NH92.
On 3 May 2018, the first of 24 fissures opened in and near the subdivision of Leilani Estates, a neighbourhood located on Kīlauea Volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone, Hawaii, USA. A response was immediately coordinated by local and state emergency management agencies to minimise impacts to the community. Key measures included creating an exclusion zone, setting up shelters, holding media tours of the evacuation zone, maintaining an increasingly damaged roading network, and continuing to support a tourism-oriented economy. To collate lessons from the three-month eruption, we conducted a series of interviews and focus groups with key personnel and community members. Here, we present summaries of our discussions to describe the response and short-term recovery across seven businesses, three government agencies, a non-governmental organisation, and community members. Lessons for each sector are embedded in the report; social media usage and the relationship between responders and the community are common themes. This report concludes with some key takeaways for Hawaii and other locations that could experience an effusive eruption in the future. (auth)