Trump approves disaster declaration for eruptions on Big Island

Trump approves disaster declaration for eruptions on Big Island
Lava covers a road in Puna's Leilani Estates, where dozens of homes have been destroyed. (Image: USGS)

PAHOA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for the Big Island, where ongoing volcanic activity has already destroyed dozens of homes.

The declaration means federal assistance will be available to help cover the costs of repairs to public infrastructure.

It also covers costs for emergency protection measures, including personnel for security, geologists and the military.

"I'm grateful for the quick approval of my request for a presidential disaster declaration," Gov. David Ige said, in a news release. "This opens the door to federal assistance and demonstrates a solid partnership with the federal government as we work to keep Hawaii residents safe and support recovery efforts,"

The volcanic eruptions in lower Puna, which started last Thursday, come as the state is also cleaning up after historic flooding on Kauai and Oahu. A presidential disaster declaration was also issued for that event last month.

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