Big Island mayor signs a mandatory order of evacuation
PAHOA - Residents have less than 24 hours to pack up and get out. The evacuation order means residents within a certain designated area of Leilani estates must leave or they could be arrested. It also means that if residents in that area call for help, first respondersmay not show up. That danger is part of the reason for the mayor's evacuation order.
" You all know the mayor, his abiding concern has always been for the safety of the residents... ... this is the real reason behind this, the safety of everybody,” Janet Snyder from the office of the mayor said.
"A lot has changed since you first went in, immense changes have happened since we've gone in there. We used to see residence walking in the street, mingling finding out what's going on talking to the media but today it's like a ghost town which is good because they're taking heed of the warning and doing what the county is asking them to do,
Most of Leilani estates is also covered in lightweight lava rocks that have been shot out and continue to rain down from fissure 8. Sulfur dioxide in some areas are said to have reached deadly levels.
Areas east of Pomaikai street have until noon today to either leave or stay at their own risk. Mayor Kim signed the order at 12:06 Thursday afternoon and went into effect immediately. Residents must be out by 12:06 this afternoon. The evacuation order is in place for 60 days or until further notice.