National News

State lawmakers from the Big Island are going home

Posted May 4, 2018 10:22 a.m. EDT

— State Lawmakers representing the residents facing the potential threat of another lava flow are heading back to Hawaii Island.

Island News spoke with Representative Joy San Buenaventura and Senator Russell Ruderman at the State Capitol Thursday.

Both know the potential devastation a flow can cause depending on where it surfaces. They have been through this situation before.

San Buenaventura made it a point to take the microphone on the final day of the legislative session to tell her colleagues to pray for Puna.

She says those she's been in touch with are undergoing major stress.

Meanwhile, Ruderman with a different approach. He says what Puna residents have learned through previous experiences is that all they can do is wait and see what happens.

"If the earthquakes is any indication of the flow of magma, if it were above ground, it would have actually crossed highway 130 on its way towards Kapoho so it is significant," San Buenaventura said.

Kapoho is where the 1960 eruption happened which took over a village in the area.

San Buenaventura says if a disaster does happen, the state could tap into it's disaster relief fund to help with potential recovery efforts.

The representative also said that since the 2014 lava flow into Pahoa, state lawmakers passed legislation after an insurance problem arose for homeowners.

Some of them saw their homeowners insurance providers cancel their coverages due to the flow.

Due to new law, insurance providers can no longer do that as long as their customers are up to date on paying their bills.