The post office on the remote peninsula of Kalaupapa where Hansen’s disease survivors live will remain open, at least in the foreseeable future.
The U.S. Postal Service has taken the post office at Kalaupapa off the list of facilities being considered for closure.
The post office, accessible mainly by light aircraft or a hike on a switchback trail up the face of a 2,000-foot-high cliff, serves as the lifeline for residents who have no cellphone or Internet service, according to Kalaupapa National Historic Park.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka said he was grateful the Postal Service will continue to have a branch at Kalaupapa.
"The residents of Kalaupapa depend on this post office to receive vital medication and other health supplies, and to connect them with the rest of the world, including their families, friends and health care providers," Akaka said in a news release.
Mail is processed in Honolulu and flown daily to the Kalaupapa post office, the Postal Service said.
About 17 patients, although cured of the disease, still choose to live at Kalaupapa. Their average age is 78, officials said.
The state continues to care for patients’ needs and operates a care facility, store, kitchen and gas station for the community.
The national park, with a staff of 50 full-time employees, maintains the roads, trails and natural and cultural resources, including more than 200 national historic landmark buildings.