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Volcanic Hazards

Lava-Flow Hazard Zones
Island of Hawai'i
Frequently Asked Questions

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.


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?

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Updated: 15 March 2012 (pnf)