Kilauea Eruption May 2018

Posting another link for those of you who have trouble viewing the video posted above:

Aloha dear readers:

The video and photo attached will help you understand what is happening on our little slice of Paradise here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

  • We live in Kohala, as far away from current volcanic activity as one can get and still be on this island. It’s roughly a 3-1/2 hour drive from our home. So we are well out of harm’s way, though we did experience two earthquakes two days ago. Still, compared to 2006 when our town was actually the epicenter for a major quake that did significant damage in our community, these quakes were minor.
  • All of Hawaii is made up of volcanoes, not only Hawaii Island. O’ahu, Niihau, Kauai (which recently has suffered extreme flooding that has altered the entire north shore), Lana’i, Moloka’i and Maui are all comprised of volcanoes in various stages of dormancy or viability.
  • The Puna district, marked Kilauea on the map, has seen volcanic activity now for many years. I’ve also included (below) some photos taken when my husband and I hiked the seven miles in from Kalapana to view lava flowing to the sea. The photo of the rocks we walked over to get to the shoreline demonstrate how volatile the surface was in that area.
  • People who bought property in the currently affected area knew they were in the path of a live volcano. Some grew up there and this was the only home they knew. To the other extreme, mainlanders flooded in, looking for cheap land to build a home in which to retire or provide them with vacation rental income. The views were stunning, though insurance was extremely expensive if it could be gotten at all.
  • The above map of the island is, in another form, divided into lava zones. Any property owner knows his or her lava zone, as insurance rates (if even available) are based upon what lava zone one resides in. The Kilauea or Puna district is within zones 1 and 2. Kohala, where we live, is in Lava Zone 9, 1 being the most volatile, 9 being the least.

Eruptions of Kilauea have continued for decades. When we first moved to the island, we remember driving down Chain of Craters Road in  Volcanoes National Park at night to view lava streaming down the mountainside. It was jaw-dropping. The current eruption in Leilani Estates signifies a dramatic shift in activity, and is a reminder to never take the power of Mother Nature or in this particular case the power of Madame Pele for granted. Humans have long ignored the earth they so depend upon and lost the reverence and awe of their earliest ancestors. Sometimes I wonder what it’s going to take to re-awaken humans to their proper place in the scheme of this magnificent planetary ecosystem.

25 thoughts on “Kilauea Eruption May 2018

  1. Thanks for the history lesson on the Big Island. I visited this area over 30 years ago and was amazed then at the forces produced by our planet. Truly an amazing place.

    1. Happy to oblige 😉 So many have inundated me with genuine concern, yet we personally are pretty removed from the conflagration. Thought I’d inform my sweet WP community as to the goings-on.

      I’m glad you had the opportunity to visit the island. We were actually on Moloka’i 26 years ago, and much has changed in that time on all the islands, a lot of it not so desirable, at least to me. Too many people, so much waste, corals bleached and detritus everywhere. Yet at its essence, this place is a wonder. We are grateful every single day for our lives in this ever-changing magical world of Hawai’i Nei. Aloha, Patrick.

  2. I wonder too, Bela!
    I’m so happy you are far away from danger. And thanks for explaining this. I suppose that every area has some threat…we deal with hurricanes and flood insurance (again…very expensive…if you can get it!)
    Your photographs are stunning.
    Hope you are well…have a super week ❤

    1. Thanks so much, Laurie! And yes, we are all dealing with climate change events, as well. The volcanoes, however, have been around for centuries with on and off activity. We still live on some of the newest land on the planet! Aloha, and wishing you all the best as well! ❤

  3. Glad you live far away from the current volcanic activity, Bela. Have been wondering and worrying about you. Thanks for the interesting information, and for letting us know you’re okay! ❤️

    1. No need to worry anymore, sweetie. We are well and sound enough to prune (big) trees all day yesterday! Wish my body was 20 years younger, but I still had great fun climbing! 😀 I think I’m part bird anyhow 😉 Aloha.

  4. Informative post, Bela. For most of us, we are clueless as to the particulars of what is delivered via the media. Just the thought of ‘molten rock’ makes me shudder!

    1. Yes, the media … FOX News actually had the temerity to say – completely without any basis in truth or geography – that residents of O’ahu were being evacuated due to the volcanic eruption! That island is an hour’s flight away, and has experienced no distress, other than people who might have relatives on the Big Island in the Puna District. Many think Hawai’i Island and Honolulu are the same place and solely comprise the entirety of Hawai’i. Sigh.

      If molten rock makes you shudder, imagine feling my shoes burning as I walked over those lava rocks to take photos of the lava pouring into the sea. I’m fairly bomb-proof, but that had my legs quaking. All I could think of was what I said to Chris, “If I fall into a crack, do NOT attempt to rescue me!” I could only imagine being so badly burned that life as I know it would cease to exist. No, thanks! Other than that, witnessing such miraculous sights is always worth reasonable risk, in my opinion. 😉 Cheers, Eliza!

  5. Dear Bela,

    First, our prayers with you and all folks residing in Hawaii for your continued well being and safety.

    It is interesting is it not that we humans are so conditioned to see our environment as stable and unchanging, that any change unsettles us. And this mindset remains with us even though history has been witness to continued turbulence and shifts.Having often wondered about this, I have come to conclude that the reason we prefer stability to volatility is because the former allows us to predict a future to live into which the latter does not.

    Danish Physicist Per Bak developed a theory of sand flows in an hourglass.From the outside the reverse sand cone looks stable as a regulated quantity of sand flows down into the bottom half. But inside every sand grain is connected through invisible pressures and tensions.The dynamics of the and cone is unknowable and unpredictable.

    Just like the above, our world is a place where stability is transitory and in the moment, instability is the constant. The question that remains is, ” What practices do we need to follow to train our minds accordingly?”

    Regards

    Shakti

    1. Yes, you are so right, Shakti. We wish to comfort ourselves by predicting a future that is beyond our ability to predict! I tentatively agree with Marx that religion is the opiate of the masses, for those who are no able or willing to deeply contemplate and connect with the Mystery inside themselves are easily manipulated into letting another mandate laws and boundaries. I say tentively because I know religion serves its purpose in many ways for those needing structure and rules to abide by, making them better people. They also seek spiritual community. Rather I’m speaking to the desire to quell that existential angst, the terror that life can and will end unpredictably and at a time not of their choosing.

      So living with a live volcano ‘ought’ to keep us on our toes, lending itself to the asking of deeper questions and seeking a practice that will bring us, time and again, into the present moment.

      The Bak theory is a wonderful example of dynamic flow, never predictable but always active in creation. Reminds me of a mystical figure (tarot card?) of a woman moving a figure eight over her head, indicating perpetual movement. The yin/yang symbol indicates the same sort of dynamism.

      Many thanks for your thoughtful comments and for your well wishes. There are many in need of them, always. ❤️🙏🏽

  6. Thank you for sharing your location and wellbeing dear Bela…you have been in my thoughts the day the eruptions occurred and I even visited your blog to see if some comment could give me a clue about your safety. I had read in response to Hariod’s question that you would write a post soon and were safe. I shudder at the thought of being surrounded by volcanic eruptions! They look fascinating and good only in pictures. Love and hugs.

    1. Haha, well – we live far from the volcano, but have visited the flows several times. I know these places are not for everyone, but Chris and I have always lived with wonder and awe in and around Mother Nature. In this case, it’s Mother Pele, and she continues fashioning a new landscape for herself.

      Thanks for your love and warmth, Balroop. Aloha. ❤

  7. Hi Bela, thanks for this; I’m glad you guys are well away from the affected areas. I can’t see the video you mention, but have been watching several myself, keeping tabs on this phenomenon. This one gives a good sense of the monstrous advance, for your readers:

    H<3

  8. My dear Bela: Glad to hear that you are safe. When I heard about the volcanic activity I thought about you and wanted to know if all was well. I visited your blog – there was no new post. Had prayed. Happy now. A 3-1/2 hour drive from home is some distance. Where there’s beauty there’s beast, I believe. Stay blessed, dear.

    1. Aloha Mahesh and thanks so much, I am touched by your caring, The night before the eruption when I visited the caldera and spent the night nearby, I hardly slept. Now I know why! Likely felt the earth’s unrest. Now Mme. Pele continues to consume more land, and so it goes.

      I agree, on this sphere of contrasts, beauty and beast coexist in nature as in human beings. We have always chosen to places with exquisite beauty. In Maine it was extreme winters, in New Mexico’s high desert, it was sweeping, unobstructed views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, wildcats screaming eerily at night and miles from anywhere to earn a viable living. Now here on Hawai’i Island with the striking contrast of turquoise waters and high mountaintops, it is a living volcano. Still, I’d rather be here than anyplace else on earth, at least for now.

      Blessings, my friend. 🙏🏽❤️🌺

  9. Good to know you are as far away as is possible on the island Bela, and also many thanks for that indepth explanation and visuals.. It has let me better understand where on the island this is.. The media here has only recently been speaking of this event.. While I knew of it earlier via Dutchsinse Youtube updates on Earthquakes.
    Glad all is well with you xxx ❤
    Much LOVE..

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