(BIVN) – The weekly public meeting in Pahoa on the volcanic eruption in Puna was reformatted on Tuesday night, allowing more time for questions and answers.
The meeting, which in the past has lasted for exactly one hour, was extended to an hour and a half. The comments and questions from the 17 residents who stepped up to the microphone ran the gamut from criticism to praise for the government response to the disaster on the lower East Rift Zone. Officials scrambled to assign the questions to the proper authorities, and after the public question session ended there was time left over for the administration to provide answers.
The county decided to go with the new format after the last week’s tense meeting ended abruptly after one hour, with several people still waiting in line to express their views.
Before Tuesday night’s Q & A, the county shared updates on topics like lava viewing, citations, and the policy for obtaining placards to enter the restricted zone. Not on the agenda: the weekly update from the USGS, although the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory did have a spot in the back of the room, where eruption-related maps were on display.