(HONOLULU) — President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state of Hawaii on Monday, supplying federal aid to assist in local and state recovery efforts after a volcanic eruption and the resulting lava flow continues to creep towards the town of Pahoa.
Obama’s action made federal funding available to state and local governments, non-profit organizations and some hazard mitigation measures. The disaster declaration was requested by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Oct. 24.
Hawaii County Civil Defense said on Monday that the front of the lava flow remained 480 feet from Pahoa Village Road. Areas of Pahoa remain closed and limited to area residents, though elections on Tuesday are expected to go on as planned.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, who is a military police captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard, was called up to help battle the lava flow on Monday. The duration of her duty is yet to be determined, according to a statement from her office, and she won’t do any media at least until she is done.
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