Filipino Hawaii residents volunteer in the wake of Kilauea eruption

PAHOA, HI — Threats of more explosions, ballistic projectiles, earthquakes, and acid rain are just a few concerns, while streets are shut down and thousands of residents are displaced.

“It’s kind of stressful we’re not able to go back in and grab more things, since they shut the road down and just to make sure everybody is safe and out of there,” said Denis Pertubal.

It’s nothing new for born and raised Filipino Hawaiians like Pertubal, who has lived near mount Kilauea all his life and is among the 1700 residents evacuated.

“4 years ago a lava threat, and also the hurricane. We know what to do so it’s not as bad to be in a panic. We’re prepared.”

While access to his home is limited, Pertubal has found shelter with relatives, and rather than hunker down, he’s finding some peace helping out others.

“This is my community and I just like to help out,” he said.

Over a thousand Filipinos are believed to live in the affected area.

Other Filipinos, like Dave Galiza, are making sure they give whatever help they can.

“Everyone here is a volunteer getting together and just helping out everybody,” Galiza said.

As lava continues to sink inside Kilauea, the US Geological survey warns that ballistic projectiles can come out the crater and ash can spread out through the area. Air quality has remained poor and can be felt as far north as Hilo, where a Filipino family owns this hotel.

“One of my eyes was puffy. Started getting itchy. I don’t know if it was acid rain, the fog or something but me or Allegre or respiration problems from the volcanic sulfur,” said Paulino Love.


Love says the first few days following the eruptions, earthquakes were frequent, but have since calmed down.

With volcanic and seismic activities unpredictable, there may be concerns on the Big Island, but they prove that no man is an island with Filipinos always willing to help despite their own worries.

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