Governor David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim signed a letter of agreement Thursday releasing $12 million to the County of Hawaii to support the county’s response to the active volcanic eruption occurring on the island along the East Rift Zone in Lower Puna.
“This is an ongoing emergency and we’re in the early stages of damage assessment, but we do know that costs for overtime, equipment and materials are mounting,” Ige said in a press release. “Police, fire, public works and civil defense employees have been working overtime, and some of the equipment and materials needed to keep evacuation routes open and safe have been costly. This funding will help the county continue to protect the health, safety and welfare of area residents.”
Kim expressed his appreciation for the state’s assistance amid mounting needs as the emergency situation continues.
“We have had tremendous support from the governor and his departments from the get-go,” Kim said. “This is helping us focus on the critical tasks of making life better for our people affected by the eruption.”
While the funding could be used for emergency supplies and temporary shelter-related goods and services, the agreement specifies that the funds are not intended for long-term infrastructure repairs or for private purposes such as the repair or rebuilding of private dwellings.