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Saturday, October 25, 2014

IS THIS THE END OF PAHOA?

Last month I posted on THE MOST DANGEROUS SPOT ON PLANET EARTH.  The town of Pahoa was speculated to be as soon as two weeks away from inundation by lava.  Then last week, in PART 2, it was still two weeks away from doom.


Well, Apaa Street has already been crossed and chances are that, by the time you read this, at least the Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station has already been destroyed, for the flow is moving at up to 15 yards/hour.  No doubt Cemetery Road has also by now been crossed.  This photo was taken yesterday, with the transfer station and road to the right:



Some argue that waiting for the inevitable is at least better than being instantly buried by pumice, as happened on 24 August 79 to Pompeii from Mount Vesuvius.  This town was five miles from the eruption and was covered by ten feet of ash.  I toured the site, two centuries later.  It was worse, for Herculaneum was overwhelmed by 66 feet of pyroclastic flow.  Among those killed was Pliny the Elder, author of Natural History.


Then, of course, more recently, on 18 May 1980, Mount St. Helens, located 96 miles south of Seattle, exploded.

Fifty seven were killed and 185 miles of highway were destroyed.  The elevation was reduced from 9677 feet to 8356 feet.

Mind you, while recent Hawaiian volcanic eruptions have been relatively benign, with moderate flows of lava,  two millennia ago, Kilauea had a devastating explosion almost as large as that of Mt. St. Helens, and in 1790, Kilauea exploded, killing, perhaps, hundreds of people in opposition to future King Kamehameha.

Kilauea might have crowned Kamehameha.  In 1924 there was also a deadly explosive eruption of Kilauea.  Rocks as heavy as 16,000 pounds were thrown a mile from the center of Halemaumau (right).  Day became night in Pahala, a town I lived in 40 years later.


Here is a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory site to link with to gain the latest info.  Further, you can contact:

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
by phone at: (808) 967-8862
by web at: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php
County of Hawai'i Civil Defense
by phone at: (808) 935-0031 (7:45 am - 4:30 pm)
by web at: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/

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Amazingly enough, Ana is still a hurricane at 75 MPH, now located almost dead north of Kauai, and heading for Vancouver Island.  I yesterday said Victoria Island, but I meant the city of Victoria.


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