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Red Cross Kilauea Lava Response 5-Week Update

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Red Cross volunteer caseworkers are continuing to meet with affected residents to ensure that immedi

It has been 5 weeks since the eruptions started in lower Puna, and residents are still facing uncertainty as volcanic activity continues.  The Hawaii Red Cross, along with Hawaii County and other community partners, remain on the ground, helping to provide shelter, meals, relief items, and comfort to those in need.

Shelters at the Keaau Community Center and the Sure Foundation Church have been relocated to the Keaau Armory, which is currently at capacity.  The shelter at Pahoa Community Center remains open.  Both shelters are pet friendly.

As of this morning, there were 91 residents inside the Pahoa Shelter with an additional 253 choosing to stay outside the shelter in tents and cars.  There were 33 residents inside the Keaau Armory shelter and 43 residents choosing to stay outside. The Red Cross continues to support these two Hawaii County shelters.  The total number of people staying inside and outside of the shelters was 420.

Since May 3, the Red Cross has distributed thousands of blankets, sheets, pillows, futons, towels, masks, toiletry kits, and other items; as well as nearly 20,000 snacks.  The Red Cross is also working with the Salvation Army to provide meals. Additionally, volunteer Red Cross nurses and mental health volunteers are staffing the shelters and have provided nearly 7,500 health and mental health services to those in need. 

Red Cross volunteer caseworkers are continuing to meet with affected residents to ensure that immediate emergency needs are met and to provide referrals, guidance or additional assistance as needed, to help with the recovery process. To date, a total of 377 Red Cross volunteers have assisted evacuees during this disaster relief operation. 

Big Island Volunteers Needed

Volunteers from the Big Island are needed to staff shelters for residents who have been displaced by the Kilauea lava threat.  Training will be provided.  Please go to and complete an online volunteer application.  For questions, call (808) 739-8122. 

About the Red Cross

The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world.  To send a contribution, mail your check to American Red Cross, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816 or make a secure online donation at or call (808) 739-8109.

For more updates, follow the American Red Cross of Hawaii on Twitter at @HawaiiRedCross. You can also contact the Hawaii Red Cross at 808-734-2101 or visit