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Tsunami recovery center announced

Hawaii State Civil Defense will set up a disaster assistance and recovery center in Kona to offer help to people affected by the March 11 tsunami.

Starting tomorrow, the center at the Old Kona Airport Events Pavilion will be staffed by state, county and private-sector crews ready to provide help and information to residents and businesses.

“I want to thank State Civil Defense for moving quickly to establish this center to assist people who suffered damage in the tsunami,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said in a statement. “This cooperative government and private-sector effort will efficiently deliver the information and assistance that our residents need for the most rapid recovery possible.”

Representatives of the Mayor’s Office in Kona, the Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Public Works will be on hand. State agencies also have been asked to attend, as have private organizations such as the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities Hawai‘i.

State Civil Defense officials are contacting all of the people who called Aloha United Way’s 211 hot line for assistance in connection with the tsunami to invite them to the Kona center for additional information.

Reserve’s wave damage is assessed

The Coast Guard has completed a flyover of the damage sustained by of one of the world’s largest marine reserves sustained in the tsunami.

Coast Guard officials will show pho­to­graphs and data taken from a flight over the Papa­hanau­mokua­kea Marine National Monument today in a planned briefing. State wildlife agencies have been trying to figure out the best strategy for completing cleanup and ecosystem restoration at the 10 atolls and islands that make up the monument.

The Coast Guard says the March 11 tsunami washed away tens of thousands of nesting seabirds.

Field camp workers, volunteers and others at Laysan Island and Kure Atoll were successfully evacuated by ship.

Abercrombie notes work ahead

Gov. Neil Abercrombie appealed for fiscal responsibility yesterday in a message sent via email and posted on YouTube.

The message was sent out ahead of today’s state Senate Ways and Means Committee meeting on the budget and tomorrow’s meeting of the state Council of Revenues to revisit its forecast.

“If we really want all this for Hawaii, then we are going to have to pay for them,” the governor said in his message. “We’re going to have to address long-term liabilities we’ve ignored; we’re going to have to repair the infrastructure that we’ve let deteriorate; and we’re going to have to reorganize government and invest in its capacity to do the people’s business.”

Rain helps crews contain most of blaze

A wildfire that broke out early this month on the Big Island was 80 percent contained yesterday, according to the National Park Serv­ice.

More than 2,000 acres burned in the Napau fire, which was caused by a Ka­moa­moa fissure eruption on March 5. The fire is about seven miles southeast of the Kilauea Visitor Center on the east rift of Kilauea Volcano.

Firefighters said there was little fire activity due to lighter-than-expected tradewinds and more than an inch of rain that fell Saturday and yesterday, according to Gary Wuchner, fire information officer for the National Park Serv­ice.

Small quakes accompany return of lava

Lava has returned to Puu Oo crater after a pause of nearly

17 days in lava activity in Kilauea’s east rift zone, scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said over the weekend.

A molten lava pool at the bottom of the crater continued to fill yesterday, according to the observatory.

The eruption of lava was also heralded by small earthquakes, scientists said.

An abrupt and short-lived deflation in the terrain occurred about the same time that lava appeared in the crater. Scientists think the deflation and inflation correspond with changes in the magma supply in a shallow storage reservoir just east of Hale­mau­mau crater.

The Puu Oo crater floor abruptly collapsed March 5, and lava began fountaining from fissures southwest of Puu Oo later that afternoon. The Ka­moa­moa fissure eruption continued until March 9, when all lava activity ceased until Saturday.

The activity is visible on the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Puu Oo crater webcam at volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/cams/POcam.

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