Kilauea lava flow heading toward the vacation homes we booked for our family vacation…Cause for concern…A year ago…A meal in the bush with wild animals surrounding us…

October 8, 2014 - small scale lava flow map
By drawing a straight line to the ocean from the current northeast flow of the lava to the darkened rectangular area on the coastline, this is the area where the two houses, next door to one another are located. This is a current map from the National Park Service.

When the lava from the Kilauea volcano on Big Island changed directions on June 27th and lava began to flow toward the village where the two houses are located that we rented for the holidays with our family, of course, we were very concerned.

When the varying daily lava flows slowly worked its way to the ocean near the two houses, we started following updates on a variety of websites including the National Park Service and United States Geological Service. 

The current narrow lava flows from Kilauea heading to the northeast. (Not our photo.)

Maps on both of these sites indicate that the lava is flowing to the neighborhood where the houses we’ve rented are located.
With poor WiFi signals on the past two ships, we were frustrated and worried over the almost month at sea. It wasn’t until we arrived in Honolulu on October 5th, that we had a strong signal and more than anything, have been able to get daily updates on the activity of the flow on the local news.

The two vacation rental houses are in the village of Pahoa as shown in the upper right of this map.  (Not our photo).  Please click here for notes from a meeting held in Pahoa in the Puna District on Friday evening with professionals on hand to discuss the status of the lava flow.

Why didn’t we post our concern? We didn’t want to alarm our family, many of whom read our daily posts until we had more information. 

Our biggest concerns have been as follows:
1.  The lava flow could wipe out the houses or we’d have to evacuate while in the houses.  (The lava flow is 100’s of feet per day at most providing ample time if evacuation is necessary).
2.  The road to the houses would be inaccessible when we arrive or are ready to depart
3.  We’d have to find another house large enough for our family that is still available for the Christmas holiday, a difficult proposition or, hotel rooms if necessary.

Thermal image of the lava flow.  (Not our photo).

As of this point with $1000’s paid in deposits and airline tickets, the owners of the two houses aren’t prepared to return our deposits until more is known over the next few weeks. The lava flow is difficult to predict. 

Last night an announcement was made on the local news that an emergency access road is in the works and will be completed in 45 to 60 days. This fact provided us with considerable relief. But, until we know the final course as the lava flows to the sea, we will stay on alert, prepared to make alternate plans as quickly as possible.

A view into one of the skylights of the lava tube supplying lava to the June 27th lava flow.” (Not our photo).

Everything we’ve heard and read is that the flow will make it to the main road two weeks from now, giving us time to make backup plans. It won’t be an easy task although we have no doubt that we’ll figure it out.

Obviously, our first concern is the safety of our family and secondly, to provide a worry-free environment in which we all can enjoy our precious time together.

Hawaii in general is a geological hot spot. The islands were created millions of years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions beneath the sea. Earthquakes are common on all of the islands. Please see this article for detailed information on the formation of the islands. Each of the islands in the Hawaiian Archipelago maintains active and currently inactive volcanoes as indicated in this article.

We’ve had “safari luck” in our travels, safety being the number one priority. We can only hope and pray that “safari luck” continues and soon, we can put the worries behind us to enjoy an amazing experience with our family.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, October 12, 2013:

A specially made breakfast was prepared for our safari group of six, with our guide Anderson happily preparing our table. We were excited to experience our first meal in the bush, the wild animals all around us in the Maasai Mara. What a glorious experience!  For details, please click here.