i LAVA you

Too soon? Perhaps. If you live in a cave you may not know that Hawaii has a LAVA situation in one of our communities. 1700 people evacuated and 26 homes destroyed. And it shows no signs of slowing down.

What Happened?

Kilauea which has been actively erupting since 1983 decided to open up somewhere new. here’s a quote from Amy B. Wang (Washington Post)

Shortly after Kilauea erupted Thursday, the ground split open on the east side of Leilani Estates, exposing an angry red beneath the lush landscape. From the widening gash, molten rock burbled and splashed, then shot dozens of feet in the air.


The dangers involved 

Aside from the obvious destructive dangers of pure lava… the residents have to beware of toxic gases. Sulfur dioxide fills the air as the gases escape from the fissures (cracks) in the ground. As I type this there are 14 total fissures (not all have lava spurting out). Another danger that people may face is being trapped by lava. When people are driving back in to grab their essentials the possibility of the road being overrun are real.

What do we do now?

We wait. For those that are in Leilani Estates all they can do is wait. I reside on Oahu 200 miles away from the flow. But my heart goes out to all the families affected. My aunty has lava in her yard as I type this. The main concern for the residents is their family, important documents, medicine, pets and livestock. Other than that everything else is replaceable.

The Reality

Land ownership is temporary. We are stewards. Anyone that has endured natural disasters the way native Hawaiians have for the past 400 years understands this. No matter what safeguards we put into place it’s all just “stuff” as some local residents have vocalized. One thing that I’ve watched over the past four days is that the locals had one priority in mind… find the ones you love and make sure they are safe. Everything else can be replaced.

While the uncertainty still looms over those who wait for the lava to stop… there are a few things that will sustain them. Love. Just like the Hawaiians have learned many years ago… love well. Love often.