(BIVN) – When the volcanic eruption began in May on the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano, Washington D.C. was quick to act.
At the request of Governor David Ige, President Donald Trump granted requests for emergency declarations and public assistance, and later granted a request for individual assistance for Hawai‘i County residents who lost their homes and property in the eruption.
While the volcanic events are no longer making national headlines like they did at the start of the eruption, its still a big topic of conversation at the U.S. Capitol, according to Hawaii’s Congressional delegation.
“Every single day that I’m in Washington”, said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard at a recent forum in Puna, “Democrats, Republicans, everyone is asking how you are doing. You’re on the hearts and minds of a lot of folks in the country that you might not be aware of.”
Hawaii’s U.S. Senators have been advocating for Hawaii Island’s imapcted communities. On July 2, Senator Mazie Hirono visited Puna for the second time, meeting with affected residents, volunteers, and business owners.
“Lots of good things are happening, but it’s still a tough situation, an ongoing situation”, said Sen. Brian Schatz on the floor of the U.S. Senate on June 28, where he shared his own observations on the disaster.
“Across the state, we are helping each other out so that people are being fed, finding shelter, and getting the things they need. Lots of good things are happening, but it’s still a tough situation, an ongoing situation. Which is why we’ve been grateful that the federal government has also stepped in to help,” said Senator Schatz.