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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Voggy Boggy Monday

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Terribly Voggy day today.  Variable winds made Hilo look hazy and smoky.

 

 

 

 

Life of the Land

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

 

 

 

 

Caldera

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Inside Pele’s Home

 

 

 

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?

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Grilled Papaya Salad

 

 

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