People trapped in Kapoho area which is now isolated by lava
One month into the eruptions in lower Puna, and lava is still erupting and devastating communities. At least four people were airlifted out of Kapoho Sunday morning.
PUNA, Hawaii - One month into the eruptions in lower Puna, and lava is still erupting and devastating communities. At least four people were airlifted out of Kapoho Sunday morning.
Others, despite evacuation orders from the county, refuse to leave or be rescued. “There are still people in the inundation zone that cannot, there’s no way for them to get out. They’re down there, we’re seeing them, they’re not calling for help yet," says Senator Kai Kahele, who is also a Major in the Hawaii Air National Guard.
Some people- it's unclear how many- are still trapped. refuse to evacuate, even as lava burns through homes, farms and highways, cutting off all access to Kapoho and Vacationland. Major Kahele describes the destruction as “unreal.”
“The amount of devastation the lava and fissure 8 continue to produce, the volume of lava is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Your heart just goes out to people who have homes and childhood memories - Champagne Pond and Green Lake and all these places that we know as kids, there’s a real threat that’s going to be gone," says Maj. Kahele.
Most of it is already gone, reduced to charred lava fields. Fissure 8 shows no signs of stopping. “It’s unprecedented; this is something most of us will never see in our lifetime," continues Maj. Kahele.
Hawaii County Civil Defense says those who choose to stay could face charges for potentially putting first responders at risk, and may even end up paying the bill for their rescue.
Officials with Hawaii County Civil Defense estimate "about twelve people" are potentially trapped in the Kapoho area.