In response to public inquiries, HVO has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the lava-flow hazard zones on the Island of Hawai'i. Answers to the questions below often include links to Web resources where you can find additional information.
Lava-Flow Hazard Zones
Island of Hawai'i
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who prepared the Lava-Flow Hazard Zone Map for Hawai'i Island?
2. What does the Lava-Flow Hazard Zone Map show?
3. Are the boundaries between lava-flow hazard zones distinct lines?
4. Why did the U.S. Geological Survey prepare the Lava-Flow Hazard Zone Map?
5. If the map was made for general planning purposes, why were so many building permits issued and so much construction allowed in Zones 1 and 2?
6. How were the lava-flow hazard zones determined?
7. The Lava-Flow Hazard Zone Map is 20 years old. Is it still accurate?
8. Will the Lava-Flow Hazard Zone Map be revised?
9. How can Hawai'i Island residents determine the lava-flow hazard zones in which their properties are located?
10. How and why is the Lava-Flow Hazard Zone Map used by home insurance or mortgage companies?
11. What can a home owner do if a company uses the map to set elevated insurance or mortgage rates?
12. What can a home owner do if a lava-flow hazard zone is used as a reason for non-renewal of a home owner's insurance policy?
13. How does location near a rift zone affect lava-flow hazards?
14. Why is an area freshly covered by lava designated as Zone 2, while another area not recently threatened by lava is designated as Zone 1?
14a. As a specific example, why is Kalapana in Zone 2, while Leilani Estates is in Zone 1?
15. Have lava-flow hazard zone maps been prepared for the other Hawaiian islands?
16. Where can Maui residents find lava-flow hazard zone information?
17. How do Maui lava-flow hazard zone numbers compare to those on Hawai'i island?
18. Where can I read more about lava-flow hazard zones in Hawai'i?