I have been getting calls this morning because people have seen the news of lava flows on the Big Island. I’m fine.
Although the lava flow is somewhat near my home, it is flowing in the opposite direction into an unpopulated area. We are rural (the size of Conneticut but with only 220,000 people).
Kilauea is the one at the volcano park that has been flowing for years. Mauna Loa (this volcano) has not been flowing since the 80’s. It is the largest volcano, 13,500 feet above sea level and another 20,000 to the ocean floor. It has an area of 2,035 mi².
Visitors here are in luck. Airlines are allowing free rebooking if needed, the remote lava lights up the clouds causing red and orange glowing in the sky at night, AND we ahve a winter storm warning with snow already covering the tops of the two tall volcanoes.
Turns out that the flow is away from my farm. HOWEVER, if it changes direction, the experts say I have between 3 and 14 hours to get out. That is not as comforting as you might think
In the lava flow a few years ago, many people lost their homes. Well, they didn’t really lose them, they were just buried under rock. The worst thing is to have a mortgage because you lose your house and the ability to live on the land for quite some time, but you still get to pay the mortgage.
In those locations a few years back, their insurance (if they had it) was with Lloyds of London as the only insurer who would cover them. Then Lloyds was hit with suits.
At present 2 of the 5 volcanos on the island are erupting. Kilauea which is near the volcano park and now Mauna Loa which covers most of the lower half of the island.
Naturally, these are big tourist attractions and I expect looky-loos (a technical term) will be booking travel here now.
It has been going to the northeast, so not towards Hilo. Also, officials have determined that South Kona (where I live) is now not in danger. The flow continues towards Saddle Road, If it crosses there, it will cause quite a bit of inconvience as that is a shortcut across the middle of the island. Taking large tractor tailers around the islands circumfrance is more time consuming and some bridges are still being repaired. The County has set up a temporary viewing area and tens of thousands of people have viewed the flow. So far, I have not. I have walked over fres crusted lava before and seen it glow through the cracks beneath my feet. Seeing it miles away is great for some, but I have been closer in the past.