Kilauea volcano has been erupting since 1983. Most of the time the lava flows have been in undeveloped areas but from time to time a flow hits some important targets. In the past, Royal Gardens housing subdivision and the Kalapana areas have been wiped out. Now a finger of lava is heading for the historic town of Pahoa. This is the upcoming disaster that will be happening in slow motion. Not exciting enough to stay in the mainland news, not yet. But once it hits the town I'm sure you will be reading sensationalized news about it.
Above is the Kilauea crater, the ultimate source of the lava. No lava is coming out of this crater on its surface.... which by the way is huge and miles across because it is a crater within a crater within a crater. But underground there is a major lava channel leading to a surface eruption site a few miles away, which in its own right looks like a small volcano. It's call Pu'u O'o. Good old Pu'u O'o is spilling lava out its side and being quite sloppy about it. Looks a lot like a baby trying to feed itself a bowl of gloppy rice cereal -- blops and rivers of the stuff every which way.
Since the end of June, some of the lava has been organized into a nice flow, somewhat river-like. It's been slowly making its way over areas of old lava eventually entering a forest preserve.
It's been slowly creeping through the forest, burning trees along the way. No one took much notice until it started heading for some houses (in the foreground). Luckily for those homeowners, the lava flow made a turn, heading down hill around the subdivision. But that turn now has the flow heading directly to a small town.
Suddenly people are taking notice! As best as can be guessed, the lava will flow right through town, across the Pahoa town road, then right over the only feeder highway leading in and out of all Puna district! Yikes! Bad news.
Regardless of preparation, it will be disaster for sure. But it occurs agonizingly in slow motion. Every day you can watch it creeping closer. Everyday it's the main topic on everyone's mind.
My heart goes out to those who will lose their homes. People are already moving valuables and livestock. But it's hard to move a home, the landscaping, the memories. But the lava is no surprise. We live on an active volcano.