Fissure Eight

Kāwahawalu

It’s a great name for the active fissure that continues to pour lava into the ocean from Leilani Estates. It literally means ‘Fissure Eight’.

Currently, Fissure eight splatter cone is over 180 feet high. To put that in perspective, Aloha Tower is 184 feet tall, that’s ten stories high. The eruption has destroyed over 600 homes since May 3, 2018.

There are Twenty-Four fissures that have opened up in Leilani Estates. Only one continues to erupting rivers of molten lava at an astonishing rate that swallowed several subdivisions in the Kapoho area in lower Puna district. All the fissures did erupt lava, but eventually either slowed or stopped. Only fissure eight continues to be very active. Fissure eight continues to flow lava that have reached the ocean. The amount of lava has created its own weather system. A deadly system that includes poisonous hydrogen-sulfide gas, clouds of LAZE.

Laze — a combination of the words lava and haze — is the product of a chemical reaction that happens when molten, 2,140-degree-Fahrenheit lava hits the ocean. The sea water gets boiled, creating a messy mix of hydrochloric acid, steam, and tiny glass particles.

Credit – Big Island Video News – USGS – Hawai’i County Civil Defense

While this is of great concern for residents of lower Puna, a greater concern is looming some 20 miles away at the Kilauea caldera. As the caldera continues to sink into the crater, there is a concern that the lava and the underground water-table will combine. If that happens, it will cause a huge explosion, with huge rocks projectiles as large as cars sent for miles. A plume of hydrochloric acid will ascend thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

Since the beginning of May, 2018, when the fissures appeared, the floor of the Kilauea caldera has been sinking, daily. Each event has produced a 5.3 magnitude earthquake around the Volcano area. Earthquakes powerful enough to damage buildings, roads, and the surrounding village homes.

 

Geologists have warned that this explosive event could cause a very large earthquake that could cause a major Tsunami. Also a land slide from the lower rift into the ocean. The last time something like this happened, in 1975 when a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred, the Kapoho tide pools were created. It cause the ground in the Kapoho area to sink into the ocean. Today, the Kapoho tide ponds are no more. They have been reclaimed by Madam Tutu Pele. The area is now all black Pāhoehoe (smooth lava) and ʻĀʻā (rough lava). Both the ocean life and land vegetation is dead. All that remains, is newly formed land by lava. This is what the tide pools used to look like.

Kapoho Tide Pools

This was one of the hidden gems in Hawai’i. Warm tide pools where shallow enough to wander out. You could see little fish and shrimps scrambling around. It was peaceful and calm. You could either sit on the rocks, or in the tide pools. Eventually, this all will return, when Madam Tutu Pele decides to rest.

I don’t know which is worse. The fact that people who have either lost their homes to the lava, or the people that are robbing and vandalizing home of evacuees. These cock-a-roaches that steal from homeowners are truly disgusting and I hope they get caught. It is a felony if they are caught.

Meanwhile, we have must be ready to evacuate at a moments notice. We worry about the direction of the trade-winds, and if VOG and Pele’s Hair should appear (Pele’s Hair – fine threads of volcanic glass, formed when a spray of lava droplets cools rapidly in the air.) It looks like hair, but it’s glass and sharp. You don’t want to breathe that stuff in. So much for life on a volcano.

 

 

 

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Pele Speaks

Welina mai na heluhelu kaʻahele. Welcome back readers of my blog. Just wanted to give you an update on the events taking place on Moku o Keawe (Big Island) Hawaii. The voice of Pele.

Since the build up and collapse of the Kilauea Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent, the lava had to go somewhere.

Unlike the 2014 eruption that spilled out over the land, the lava went underground. During the 2014 event, people could see and track the direction of the lava as it approached habitat areas. I made several blog posts about this event at that time. The community was anxious about what the county government will do to protect property from being consumed by Pele’s appetite.

This was very different. Pele was moving underground. Through a series of earthquake swarms, the direction was plotted. Somewhere in the lower Puna district an eruption was imminent. But where?

After two very large earthquakes, one 5.6 and another 6.9, Pele reveled herself. It was in Leilani Estates.

There were hundreds of smaller earthquakes before the event. Ranging from 4.0 to 2.0 in magnitude. The direction was clear, the lower eastern rift zone was Pele’s direction.  So far, and thank Akua (God), no lives have been lost. We do know of at least 5 homes have been consumed by lava. There are 12 outbreaks of lava within the subdivision, and more are expected.

Evacuations, water restrictions, and limited access for the population to enter and retrieve medications, pets, and important papers.

We had attended Mayor Harry Kim’s Morning National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning on May 3rd at the Nani Mau Gardens. It was the first sunny day we had since the beginning of the new year. A welcome repose to the weeks of rain and clouds. Soon to be overshadowed by the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

I was in our local Foodland grocery store when the 6.9 quake hit. Used to be Kea’au Puna Fresh, but was bought out. I’ve never been through such a strong trembler. I’ve experienced earthquakes before, but not like this one. I had to struggle to remain standing. We lost electricity for hours.  Luckily I had moved the animals out in the morning. As we were going about our daily business, we were unaware of what was approaching. I raced home to see if we had any damage to our home. Fortunately, we were blessed with Hi’iaka’s gift.

Unfortunately, cracks found in the Leilani Estates grounds were ominous sign of a approaching catastrophe.  Everybody that lives here knows the risks. We certainly considered the risks of living on the slopes of an active volcano. We knew not to complain about finding lava in the living-room living here. It’s island life. There are many risks and rewards. The price of paradise.

We live in the Puna district in lava zone 3. In the graphic above, the right side, or lower eastern side of the Big Island, is the Puna district. The outbreak of lava is in zone 1. The higher the numbers, the less risk of any volcano disasters. However, there are other disasters. Hurricanes, fires, droughts, fire ants, tourists, and so many other risks. For the price of paradise, it’s worth it. Aloha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pele’s On The Move

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Pele is on the move.

Covering the access roads in lower Puna and directly into the ocean.

The views are spectacular!

 

 

Lava Flow

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appLavahouse

 

The Pu’u O’o vent is releasing new lava flows from the Kilauea summit.

 

 

Lava Beds

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More Land Being Made

 

 

 

Life of the Land

UaMau

 

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I love the topology of our property with the lava flows that show both pahoehoe and ‘a pele

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

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NEW

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On this last day of the year, there are many changes here on the big island of Hawai’i.  The advance of Pele’s lava flow into the town of Pāhoa has many people moving out of the  lower Puna district.  The Puna district lava zones were always a risk for anyone wishing to move to this location.  There is no other place along the Hawaiian Archipelago like the Puna district.  It is special and sacred.

Wao Kele o Puna (Rain forest of Puna) is the largest remaining lowland rainforest just south of Hilo that sits along the Kilauea volcano rift zone.   The Kilauea rift zone is in lava zones 1, 2 and 3.

 

The lower right side of the picture shows where the USGS believes the potential path lava will flow in any direction.  In the past the lava has flowed south from the Pu’u ‘Ō ‘ō vent towards Kalapana, but that changed this year with the collapse of one of the vents walls.  Now the lava is heading towards Pāhoa town.

 

If the lava reaches Pāhoa, and crosses the only road into lower Puna, it will cut off thousands of residences that live in Puna.  It is the only way in and out of Puna.  However, in anticipation of this eventuality, the county is creating two alternate roads to allow residents to enter and exit the Puna district.

There has been an increase in traffic in upper Puna in the Kea’au area.  Since many of the Pāhoa shop owners have closed down, along with the Pāhoa Post Office, and Mālama Market, the largest grocery store in Pāhoa, traffic has increased in the Kea’au shopping center.

Twice now, Pele has stop short of crossing the highway, and only one home has been destroyed.  To date, the lava has slowed and has only advanced a few hundred yards.  We can only hope and pray that Pele decides to wander elsewhere.   As one native Puna residence said (paraphrasing), “If that lava does come onto your land, be prepared. Be happy you had that many years to live on your land, and the opportunity to live in paradise.  Show Aloha!”

Whatever happens, everyone is prepared for the worse.  Hopefully.  Meanwhile, Happy New Year.

kekahi

 

What’s For Dinner?

grilledPapya

 

Grilled Papaya Salad

 

 

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