Voice of Tim Bryan
The newly opened facility in the national park has been remarkably busy, nearly since the day it was blessed.
In late February, the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park unveiled this $5.6 million dollar Visitor Emergency Operations Center, which would serve as a command center for staff and emergency personnel in times of natural disasters and other park related incidents.
It was only a few weeks later that a volcanic fissure began fountaining lava on the middle east rift zone, putting the park on alert, and putting the center to use.
And just as the Kamoamoa fissure eruption paused, a 9.0 earthquake in Japan sent tsunami waves across the Pacific. Part of the center’s duties are to assist all eight national parks in Hawaii, as well as those in Guam, American Samoa and Saipan. Two national park locations in Kona sustained damage in the resulting surge.
And right after that, a brush fire that was ignited by lava from the Kamoamoa fissure eruption began to spread in the national park, forcing the Operations Center to keep up the frantic pace.
That’s a busy first month for the new building, which was funded using federal stimulus money.