Wednesday May 2, as I drove our youngest daughter to her morning dentist appointment, she commented, “Do I really have to go to school? It’s a half day, by the time I am done with my appointment and we drive all the way out to Kapoho they’ll only be two hours of school left.” Yes, she’s ready for summer break. My plan was to drive her to school and wait there. She was disappointed to hear that, she thought she’d get out of going to school.
As it happened, I got a text from our daughter’s school saying that school was closed due to elevated levels of seismic activity in the area. Our daughter was happy that there was no school, but concerned for her school at the same time. I told her with the elevated seismic activity they probably closed the school just in case a tsunami was generated since your school is right across the street from the coast line.
Thursday morning around 8:00 a.m. the Civil Defense message that the low magearthquakes were continuing along the east rift zone in lowere Puna, causing cracks in the Pohoiki Road. They closed the road between hwy 132 and Leilani Avenue, and our daughter’ School was closed for another day. The Civil Defense also said that there was a possibility of an eruption in the area, and advised motorist to be alert for roadway damage.
Meanwhile up in the Volcano area, earthquakes in the 4.0 magnitude range were being felt. We live about a 10 minute drive from Halema’uma’u Crater were the lava lake was quite active. They evacuated visitors and closed the park due to strong earthquakes.
We got a call from our daughter’s school saying school would be open on Friday. Civil Defense deemed it safe to reopen.
Thursday evening while having dinner with our friends from Japan at Liko Lehua our youngest daughter showed us a live video of lava spewing from the cracks in Leilani Estates, and Civil Defense was evacuating people from the area. It was an amazing, scary, and sad sight to see. That was the start of the media frenzy as reports from all over started to fly in to cover the story.
Friday started with a jolt as a 5.6 magnitude earthquake shook our house followed by a huge 6.9 magnitude quake that was felt all the way on O’ahu, and generated a small one food tsunami causing the currents around Hawai’i island to be unstable. A couple stores had to close for a few hours because they had to clean up after things had fallen from shelves due to the quakes.
I got a text from our middle daughter saying they were being evacuated from their classes to the pool area because ceiling tiles in the classrooms were falling and there were cracks in several areas of the buildings. While they were at the pool the big quake hit and the covering over head was shaking a lot so the evacuated to the football field.
Saturday early morning around 3:15 a.m. an earthquake jolted us from sleep. That evening about 15 minutes before we arrived home a 4.1 magnitude quake hit. It must’ve been right under us our friend said because it felt like the Hulk had slammed into the side of our house. He swore it felt just as big as the 6.9 quake from the day before. He was helping one of the widowed sister from our ward clean up. The Shaker had knocked a lot of things off of her shelves, and broke one in the garage. My husband our 2 daughter’s and I went over to help with the clean up too. In times of disaster people should be helping one another.
Some things that had fallen from our shelves.
I was angry when I heard about people looting homes in Leilani Estates! These people are already dealing with the possibility of losing their homes, and now they have to worry about people going in and stealing from them. Sad! Thankfully there are a handful of people who stayed behind to watch their homes as well as those of their neighbors to prevent people coming in to steal things. There is goodness in the world!
Yesterday and Sunday were quiet, no big quakes, but the concern now is air quality due to the elevated levels of sulfur dioxide in the air. There are now 10 fissures in Leilani Estates spewing lava, and 31 homes have been consumed by the lava.
We are still waiting on word from our daughter’s school as to when/if their school will reopen at the campus or at another site. I will update this post when we find out.
Until then we pray for everyone’s safety!