Somehow, I missed that Kilauea had actually started erupting on Thursday. I saw on the news that they were predicting it and then around midnight, I saw that a neighborhood had been evacuated because of lava flow.
Most people are surprised to learn that crime, aliens, and conspiracy theories are just the tip of the “my interests” iceberg. Volcanoes are on that list as well and I can tell you crap about volcanoes that you will never need to know in your entire life…
So imagine my shock when I learned that it had started to really flow on Hawaii. Kilauea is among one of the more active land volcanoes, but it is rarely an explosive volcano. According to legends on the island, explosive eruptions happen around every 200 years, which means we would be a little early, but time is different for each culture and we are over the 100 year mark for an explosive eruption.
Volcanoes and man do not mix which is why we consider them horrible things, but the reality and perception is often different and this is one of those times. The reality is that Hawaii has been getting bigger due to the constant lava flow from Kilauea. It gains square footage every year and while it is currently not habitable land, but eventually it will be and when that happens, the population of Hawaii will increase because Americans are constantly trying to spread out and Hawaii is really our only state that is growing in size every year.
In the grand scheme of things, a non-explosive volcanic eruption of Kilauea isn’t all that bad. There will be some lost property, but with evacuation orders in place and modern technology, it is unlikely to result in any losses of life and as much as none of us wants to admit it, stuff is mostly replaceable. Now, explosive eruptions are another thing. If Kilauea were to have an explosive eruption, lots of people would probably die. Furthermore, if the non-explosive lava flow we are seeing right now could pose a serious hazard if it were to start flowing south into the most populated part of Hawaii. But again, that’s a worst case scenario and volcanologists are not expecting it.