Lava Flow Displaces Big Island Residents

Aloha!

The lava flow on the Big Island is now moving at 60 ft./hour. Three-hundred students who were displaced and had to switch schools were treated to being the first humans allowed to touch the cooled lava. Civil Defense oversaw the student’s field trip:

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The children brought an offering tied in ti leaves (the green bundles) for the fire goddess, Pele. And how long will it be before a parent brings a lawsuit against the DOE for promoting paganism?

The cooled lava is so thick it was over the student’s heads by the side of the road

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The lava is still moving, still threatening more homes….

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And here on Maui, the VOG (volcanic organic gas) is so thick today because the trade winds have died down:

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You should be able to see the West Maui mountains in the background, but they are a faint outline at best.

And life here in paradise goes on….

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Aloha, Jamaica
(Photos, Hawaii News Now)

Lava Flow Moves Closer to Homes

Aloha!

The June 27 lava flow from Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii is named for the date it began erupting from a new vent. What does this mean for those of us living on Maui? A new vent equals more VOG (volcanic organic gasses)–and the attendant asthma and breathing problems.

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And for those of you planning a trip to Hawaii, consider this: I had a conversation with a woman whose husband had had lung cancer. Guess where they decided to go for him to recuperate? Yep, a nice trip to the Big Island. This was before this latest vent had opened… and she said it was “the dumbest thing we’ve ever done!”

The USGS says the lava could now reach Pahoa town in eight days, and is just 1.7 miles upslope from Apaha Street. The flow has narrowed from 100 feet to 50 feet, causing it to flow faster.

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You can read more about it here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/lava-flows-on-hawaiis-big-island/2/

Tell me, do you get these same news reports on the mainland, or is it only regional?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right. Mahalo for reading along!

Aloha, Jamaica

43 Days of Vog and Counting

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43 Days of Vog and Counting

Aloha!

I have written about Vog before–it’s an acronym for Volcanic Organic Gas, and it’s sulfur, so it’s a poison. It is also a particulate which lodges in the lungs. This gas escapes from the volcano on the Big Island, and when our trade winds are working the way they’re supposed to, they keep that nasty stuff over on the Big Island.

Lately, though, the winds have died more often than they’ve blown (climate change?) and we have major Vog here on Maui. 43 days with nary a let-up, but who’s counting? Just because I don’t go outside except to go to the grocery store, and I live in Paradise? I have asthma, and I can’t breathe from it, but it’s more than that. Being a poisonous gas, it causes a variety of problems such as burning, itchy eyes; sore throat, concentration problems, and achiness like the flu. 

Above is a photo of the valley with Vog, and under it a  photo of the valley with no Vog. It’s difficult to photograph because, well, it’s a gas. The most telling feature of this photo is the direction the smoke is blowing from the smokestacks at the Puunene sugar mill. If the smoke were blowing to the left, the winds would be coming from the east. But they are blowing “backwards,” from the south. We call this Kona winds, and they didn’t use to be that big a deal, it blew that way for just a month or two in the wintertime. In fact, winter was known as Kona season.

However, it is no longer “winter” here, it is past Easter, and I am quite distressed. This has been going on for a few years now, ever since a new vent opened in the volcano. The shelf (rim) of the volcano has been a collapsing at the rate of the size of a Volkswagen bus per day. When the shelf hits bottom it goes “pooff” and out comes the gas. Oh, joy.

43 days of being cooped up in the house, and I live  in Paradise. But who’s counting?

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Aloha, Jamaica