It Happened As Predicted-Halema’uma’u Explosions


Since my last post:

There are now 21 fissures in the Leilani Estates subdivision, with fissures 17-21 active.

Last week Wednesday (May 9) there was a informational meeting at the Hawaii Volcanoes 🌋 National Park theater for those in the Volcano community, and anyone else interested to hear from the Park management and Scientists on what to expect with the lava lake in Halema’uma’u draining from the crater. You can watch the video of that meeting here: (Kīlauea Volcano: East Rift Zone Meeting, May 9, 2018)

I was most interested in the section about the prediction on what was going to happen at Halema’uma’u Crater because our house is about 5 miles from the crater. At the meeting they predicted that due to the lava lake receding below the water table the walls of the conduit have become unstable causing rocks and debris to fall into the conduit which would seal it up blocking the steam from escaping. This would build pressure resulting in an explosion. The following evening at 10:00 they closed the park until further notice.

Explosion 💥 

The anticipated explosion happened yesterday (May 15). I noticed a gray column of smoke on the way down to Kea’au to drop our daughter off. When I came back up it was no longer a column but a huge ash plume!

It was scary indeed! Why am I heading toward the ash cloud? Because our home is a half mile from where I took thei picture and I needed to get there to make sure my mother in law and everything else was okay.

The plume rose high into the sky and the winds blew it south ward. My husband took a video of it from the Ka’u side of the HVNP.


All Quiet

By early afternoon Halema’uma’u quieted down. The huge ash plume was not visible any more, but the sky was a dark gray.

This morning on my way back home the sky was clear and no sign of the plume. There are smaller explosions but nothing like the huge cloud from yesterday.

What we do have is a heavy VOG (Volcanic Smog) lingering because there are no trade winds to blow it away from the islands. The air smells like New Years Eve on O’ahu, or rotten eggs for those of you that haven’t experienced New YeRs Eve on O’ahu. This means the air purifiers are all on the keep the air breatheable.

New Development 

This afternoon I ran into our friend who had been in Pahala (the town south of HVNP (where most of the ash went). She said that on their way home they saw a crack across Hwy 11 in front of the  entrance to HVNP. (This hwy runs through HVNP). HVNP reports that a magnitude 3.5 earthquake located 0.1 miles beneath the summit of Kīlauea volcano was the cause of the structural damage to buildings in the park and roadway.

A Community Coming Together 

Despite living in a rural community, the people here are great at helping each other out! The Volcano community has 3 Facebook pages dedicated to different aspects of life in Volcano, keeping each other informed of the happenings in the area, and where to find the help you need. Yesterday the Volcano CERT (with police escort) went door to door in our subdivision passing out informational fliers.

Are We Moving? 

Unless Civil Defense tells us to evacuate we aren’t moving. People say it’s crazy to live on an active volcano, but it’s no different then someone who lives on the east coast or gulf coast where they have destructive hurricanes, or the people who live in the mid United States who have devastating tornadoes. Every are of the world has its natural disasters.

Am I scared? A little, but I am not going to live my life i fear. I remember the talk given by President Gordon B. Hinckley, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear.” Https://

Until my next update, keep smiling 😄

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