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Kilauea Erupting

June 16, 2023

Kilauea Erupting

Daniel Thompson

Salt water Real Estate Realtor

When Hawai’i makes national headlines due to Kilauea erupting, I receive questions pertaining to safety. Sometimes the reports make it sound as if the entire island is requiring evacuation, however, an emergency of that scale has not occurred. Knock on wood.

Those of us living here encounter unique experiences due to the area’s active volcanic nature. Understanding the dynamics of this environment can be both fascinating and important for residents. Here are some key considerations:

Volcanic Hazards: Living close to an active volcano means being aware of potential hazards. These include lava flows, volcanic gases, ashfall, and projectiles. Staying informed about the current volcanic activity and following guidance from local authorities is crucial to ensure personal safety.

Property and Land: The geological risks associated with living near an active volcano should be carefully evaluated. Lava flows can pose a threat to property, and the unpredictable nature of volcanic activity makes long-term safety uncertain. Seeking advice from experts like geologists and land management agencies is essential before purchasing or constructing a property in these areas.

Volcanic Tourism: Volcanoes National Park attracts numerous tourists interested in its unique geological features. Living nearby allows residents to witness volcanic activity up close and participate in related tourism activities. While this can bring economic benefits, it may also lead to increased traffic, noise, and other challenges associated with popular tourist destinations.

Community Resilience: Communities near Volcanoes National Park have developed resilience and adaptability to living with an active volcano. They often have emergency plans, access to evacuation routes, and strong community support networks. Engaging with the local community and participating in preparedness activities fosters a sense of safety.

Knowledge of Lava Zones: Understanding the nine lava zones found on the island of Hawai’i is particularly helpful for residents. These zones are delineated based on the probability of future lava inundation. Knowing which lava zone your property is located in can help assess the potential risk of lava flows and guide decision-making related to insurance, emergency planning, and preparedness.

Insurance and Building Codes: Insurance availability and building codes may vary depending on the lava zone. Some insurance companies may charge higher premiums or have specific requirements for properties located in higher-risk zones. Similarly, building codes may have additional stipulations to enhance structural resilience in areas prone to volcanic hazards.

Environmental Awareness: Being knowledgeable about the lava zones and volcanic activity fosters a deeper appreciation and respect for the surrounding environment. It enables residents to understand the delicate balance between human habitation and the natural forces shaping the landscape. This awareness can inform sustainable practices and conservation efforts.

By having knowledge about the lava zones and the implications of living near an active volcano, residents can make informed decisions, enhance their safety preparedness, and actively engage in the unique environment surrounding Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea.