Monday, May 21, 2018

Volcano Update

Awoke to the smell of sulfur this morning. Inside the house is generally fine. We had everything shut up all yesterday and last night. But one step outside early this morning to walk the puppy, and yuk. Definitely volcano smell. Checking the truck car windshield, there's a very light dusting of ash, barely noticeable. Perhaps the light rain during the night helped with that. 

Morning routine now includes checking on the local volcano news. Internet news, civil defense alerts, HVO updates, Facebook, forums, text messages. News flies nowadays. The eruption down in Puna is still going. The lava flow across the coastal road is now a 20' high hot blockade. For those of you who have suggested using a big bulldozer to push the lava off the roadway, be advised that it's around 2000° and still flowing. Get within 6' of it and it singes the hair right off your body. I can tell you that from personal experience! So, how long before that dozer gas tank explodes? 

That black wall beyond the people is the lava flow. 

One of the lava flows is disappearing down a ground crack. Where's it going, we ask? Deep down into the unknown void. 

HVO reports that the SO2 gas coming from the Puna rift has tripled. Bad news for anyone who likes to breath. Consequences of this, the Kona coast has foul air. We went up to Kainaliu yesterday to take in a play at the Aloha Theater. The drive up was nasty enough. The drive back was worse. Visibility greatly reduced. No beautiful scenic coastal views. Air quality poor. Kept the car air conditioner on recirculate the entire time, something  we never have to do as a habit before. Woke up this morning with a bit of a cough, touch of a sore throat and sore nose.......the effects of Kona exposure. Surprisingly, Kainaliu area is 45 miles further away from the volcano but it suffers worse due to the air currents. 

Checking the HVO website, I saw that there was another summit explosion at 1 am. A 10,000 footer. Thus the sulfur smell. 

This volcano is still rocking and rolling. Everyone is asking, when will it stop? Tomorrow. Next week. Next month. A year from now. Decades from now. Each one of those answers could be the correct one. 

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