DFA cautions Pinoys on Hawaii volcano threat

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday night said it is monitoring the situation around restive Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii after experts warned it is gearing for a more violent eruption.

The DFA said the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu remains in touch with members of the Filipino community on the island of Hawaii and has urged them to follow instructions from authorities.

The Consulate said some 15,000 Filipinos live in Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, and of this number, about 500 live north of the affected area.

On Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey issued a red alert to warn on what could be an imminent major eruption of Kilauea.

“The Philippine Consulate General is in touch with representatives of Hawaii County and is monitoring the situation there,” Consul General Joselito A. Jimeno said, adding that no Filipino has been reported affected by the eruption.

On Wednesday, Consul General Jimeno was also assured by Hawaii Governor David Ige that the Hawaii National Guard is ready to evacuate Filipinos who would be affected by the eruption.

Kilauea, an active volcano that has been continuously erupting for 35 years, has had a larger eruption early this month that resulted in a lava flow in the Leilani Estates residential subdivision.

Following this lava flow and the potential for danger to persons and property, the Office of the Mayor of the County of Hawaii has issued an Emergency Proclamation continuing thereon for 60 days or until further notice.

Governor Ige has also issued an Emergency Proclamation in order to mobilize the necessary civil defense authorities to assist in evacuation and provide disaster relief in the affected area.