Welcome to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Puna Lava Flow

Updated at: 7:46am HST, Thursday, October 30

Here is the October 29 update on our response to the #PunaLavaFlow from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College. The text of our standing message is available on the UH for Puna website, but here is the new information we want to share today.

The situation has entered a new phase. Although no one can predict the exact date the lava flow will cover access roads and residential areas, the situation is developing as expected, for which we have planned.

Contact list: We have created a Contact List so you know who to contact when you have a specific question on enrollment, classes, housing, counseling, financial aid, and more.

Classes: Classes are being held as planned. Students are again advised to talk with their professors about their needs and any accommodations for this semester and next semester.

Counseling: Counseling for faculty, staff and students remains available. Faculty and staff of UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC should contact their Human Resources offices respectively or the Employee Assistance Program directly. Information about counseling for students is available online. You can find more information and several flyers about coping with stress on the UH for Puna website.

Informational video: We recommend you watch this video about the principal hazards residents will face as lava flows move through Puna. The video was produced by Cheryl Gansecki, a UH Hilo volcanology/geology lecturer and volcano videographer from Volcano Video Productions, in cooperation with Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense. Narration is provided by UH Hilo Professor of Geology Ken Hon, an expert on pahoehoe lava. This is an example of the type of behind-the-scenes work that UH Hilo faculty, staff and students are doing in response to the lava flow.

Meetings in Pāhoa: Representatives from UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi CC will continue to attend the weekly community meetings held in Puna about the lava flow. They will answer questions there from our faculty, staff and students who are experiencing direct impacts from the lava flow. The next lava flow community update meeting will be held with representatives from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pāhoa Community Center.

Be Prepared, Stay Informed: Not all news outlets may have correct information about the lava flow and its impacts. Listen to the latest County Civil Defense messages on the radio, visit the CD website daily, and follow the instructions. Please also visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website for daily flow updates.

We greatly admire the efforts of County Civil Defense and USGS personnel, other officials, all the many volunteers and the residents of Puna who have pulled together in response to the lava flow.

Stay safe.

Don Straney and Noreen Yamane