PHOTOS: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Visits Puna to Support Community Impacted by Kīlauea

June 19, 2018
Press Release

Aloha,

Yesterday on Hawaiʻi Island, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was on the ground in Puna, where she received updates on the impact of ongoing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on residents, local businesses, farmers, and more. The congresswoman received an update brief and aerial tour of the impacted area from the Hawai’i Army National Guard’s Joint Task Force Commander Brigadier General Ken Hara. She also toured damaged areas and active fissures on the ground with Hawaiʻi County Highways Division Chief Neil Azevedo who briefed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on efforts the county is taking to ensure residents can safely access neighborhoods, and work underway to create a lookout site for visitors to see the lava flow.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visited Hope Services’ Transitional Housing Site in Pāhoa. There she talked with Gilbert Aguinaldo and Darryl Oliveira who began the community-led mission to build tiny houses, which will serve as transitional housing to the most vulnerable residents in the community who have lost their homes and been displaced by the lava flow.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also visited the Disaster Resource Center, where she was briefed by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn and FEMA personnel on the process for residents to come in and file claims for Individual Assistance. Other Federal, State, and County representatives were also present, such as the US Department of Agriculture, Vets Center, Mental Health Services, and more. As of yesterday afternoon, nearly 600 residents had come in to the center since it opened last Friday.

Last week, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation delivered a letter to President Trump urging him to act swiftly to authorize individual assistance from the FEMA for Hawai‘i Island residents whose homes have been lost or damaged due to the ongoing Kīlauea Volcano eruptions. The President quickly approved the FEMA individual assistance on Friday June 14, authorizing federal funding support for things like temporary housing, home repairs and replacements, medical needs, child care, transportation, and more. A fact sheet on FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) is available here. Individuals in Hawaiʻi County can register with FEMA the following ways:

  • Apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Constituents may call the registration phone number at 1-800-621-3362; those who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.

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