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Thursday, October 27, 2022

Kaʻū News Briefs, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022

Kaʻū's Disaster Shelter at the Robert H. Herkes gym served as a venue Thursday to update the community on seismic and likely lava flow activity. Photo by Julia Neal

HUNDREDS SWARMED AROUND VOLCANO AND EARTHQUAKE EXPERTS Thursday evening at Robert H. Herkes District Gym in Pāhala to learn about predictions, forecasts and safety in the face of the quakes in and around Pāhala and the looming Mauna Loa summit above with its own seismic activity and possible lava flow.
     USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist in Charge Ken Hon explained that there is difference between the deeper swarms that have been going on for years in and around Pāhala and the recent Magnitude 5.0 and 4.6 quakes. The recent strong ones are shallower and could be from pressures of lava at Kilauea and the swelling of Mauna Loa.
First responders and Civil Defense officials attended the
 volcano update meeting. Photo by Julia Neal
    Residents asked if Civil Defense has an evacuation plan in case lava starts coming down the slopes of Mauna Loa. Civil Defense Director Talmadge Magno said, "What you see is what you get." He said Civil Defense hopes that there will be enough lead time for people to evacuate. He and Hon noted that the actual lava inundation zones are usually small. Though Mauna Loa makes up more than 51 percent of the island, the lava tends to come from the top in fairly narrow streams and people can drive away or even walk away if traffic is blocked.  
     What if two flows were to run over Hwy 11and trap people in between them? Hon said that would be extremely unlikely. 
      One resident asked about lava finding its way into lava tubes. Would that transport it faster? Hon said that lava tubes tend to cool and make lava flow less quickly. It's not like the lava jumps into a tube, like a subway, and makes its way quickly to pop up in another place, Hon said.
      They also talked about the difference between likely lava flows headed to Ocean View and headed to Pāhala. Ocean View could have lava flowing down a path through it within hours. It could take days and weeks to reach Pāhala
      Someone asked whether the swarm of quakes under Pāhala could create a crater like in Kilauea. Another asked whether Pāhala area could separate and become a new island through volcanic activity. Both ideas received responses calling them very unlikely.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's Scientist in 
Charge Ken Hon. Photo by Julia Neal
     A member of the public asked whether strong earthquakes here could liquify land and make mudflows. While that happened in the 8 Magnitude quake in 1868 on the steep slope in Wood Valley, wiping out the village and creating an area called "the slide," the kind of soil and rocks here make liquification unlikely in the areas that don't have steep slopes. A coffee farmer asked if growers working on slopes could experience a slide. The experts said to look out during a big quake.
     Should houses on posts be retrofitted? Hon said the old plantation houses with posts that float on concrete peers or stones should be attached to their foundations and also recommended concrete corner walls or metal strapping. He suggested seeing an architect.
    Janice Ikeda, Executive Director of Vibrant Hawai'i, which helped support Kaʻū communities with food bought from local farmers during the pandemic, suggested residents support their neighborhood Hubs for increased disaster preparedness. She said Vibrant Hawai'i works closely with the Hubs and Civil Defense.
    See more on preparedness in the story on the Ocean View presentation by Civil Defense and the USGS at http://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022_10_23_archive.html

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html

HAWAI'I'S GRADE IN DIGITAL COMPETENCY climbed from a B to an A- in the national ratings provided by Center for Digital Government's 2022 Digital States Survey. An "A" grade reflects a state government that has demonstrated "very strong innovation, high performing solutions, and...excellent practices in all aspects of their operations, governance, and
administration," according to the Center for Digital Government. Hawaiʻi's A- grade this year is up from a B in 2020, and this is the first year Hawaiʻi has ranked among the top performing states.
    "We have made tremendous progress modernizing State IT systems, including our tax and payroll systems," said Gov. David Ige. "I'd like to thank our employees for their commitment and dedication to making our State more efficient and effective in order to better serve our citizens."
The survey is available here.
    In addition, the Center for Digital Government presented the State of Hawaiʻi Office of Enterprise Technology Services with the Future Ready Award for outstanding work on developing the Safe Travels Digital Platform. The Future Ready Awards are presented to jurisdictions that are laying the foundation for the disruptive and converging forces that are shaping an uncertain future -- through technology or process changes; innovation; engagement with partners; and by harnessing emerging technologies to solve problems.
    "I am proud of the Enterprise Technology Services team and what they accomplished with the Safe Travels system," said Doug Murdock, chief information officer. "The team developed and

implemented the Safe Travels system in a very short timeframe. It allowed the State to reopen our travel industry during the pandemic while safeguarding our citizens. More than 12 million arrivals were recorded in the digital platform, and more than 270-thousand people took advantage of the digital SMART Health Card program."
    Hawaiʻi was also one of six states named finalists for the Government Experience Award. The overall Government Experience Award recognizes states who have redesigned websites with enhanced languages and accessibility features, developed apps to streamline the flow of funds to those with the greatest need, and used mobile apps, social media, e-newsletters and digital service analytics to improve constituent experience and customer service delivery.
    The Center for Digital Government, a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government, conducts the Digital States Survey biennially to evaluate the information technology practices of all 50 states. The Center evaluates use of technology to support their state priorities and policies, to improve
operations or services, to achieve hard- and soft-dollar savings/benefits, to deliver innovative and citizen-centric services, and to assess the effective collaboration and progress since the last survey. States receiving high grades demonstrate strong results across all the criteria. Hawaii is among 18 states that received an A grade.
    The Office of Enterprise Services provides governance for executive branch IT projects and seeks to identify, prioritize, and advance innovative initiatives with the greatest potential to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve transparency and accountability in state government. The office also supports the management and operation of all state agencies by providing effective, efficient, coordinated and cost-beneficial computer and telecommunication services.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html

Hezykiah Fernanez from the Kaʻū Livestock 4-H Club won grand champion in the last
islandwide competition for her market steer. It was her first year in 4-H. Photo from Kaʻū 4-H

KA'U LIFESTOCK 4H-CLUB  is up and running with programs for Cloverbuds, ages five to eight, and junior and senior 4-H members, ages nine to 18. There are monthly meetings and club leaders are Raisha Karratti at 808-318-9112 and Nikki Fernandez at 808-938-0287.
     The 4H members from Kaʻū have long participated in annual livestock shows, bringing home awards and experiencing the life of raising livestock and selling them off at auction.
    Kaʻū rancher Al Galimba is one of the long-time financial supporter of 4-H his family long offering guidance for young ranchers.                                                                       

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html

Clover Buds are ages 5 - 8 and members of the newly relaunched Kaʻū 4-H. Photo from Ka'u 4-H

Pahala Shopping Center

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