First of all I want to thank everyone for their love, concern and prayers. I really appreciate you all!! First things first – as of right now, our home is safe.
My husband returned from his last ‘construction’ trip on April 22nd. Our house is move-in ready!! Many of you may know we kept delaying our move as we knew our beloved dog, Bodhi, was not healthy enough to make the trip. Dear Bodhi passed away on Friday, May 4th in the early morning….his heart stopped and he passed naturally, while I was lucky enough to be holding his paw.
Ironically, the lava started popping up through fissures just a few hours later. Leilani Estates, where all the early lava action began, is just over a ridge from our place – maybe about 1-2 miles as the crow flies. Our neighbor is keeping us posted. He evacuated due to the air quality, but can go back in from time to time when the air is clear. He reports no damage from the earthquakes other than some doors and screens off their hinges. I can relate – I’m feeling a bit unhinged myself!
Many have asked if we have insurance. There is no insurance for volcanic activity. And – we knew the risks when we built. We built anyway….as have many others. (As a side note, this is all happening on the Puna Coast, locals refer to themselves as ‘Punatics’ – you might get the kind of mindset it takes to live there!!) I remember last December when wildfires were rampaging through Southern California…..they terrify me. They are fast and tend to show no mercy. To me, the volcano is a living being. Pele, the Goddess of Fire who controls the volcanoes, is much like Kali – compassionate, yet fierce. Pele is NOT happy with the geothermal plant, Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), placed on her (just outside Leilani Estates) nor are the locals. PGV uses toxic chemicals to violate the land beneath it and release power – messing with the Earth’s crust on a volcanic island. Should we be shocked earthquakes are popping off left and right and Pele is on the move? The Hawaiians did tell us Pele would have her say about the geothermal plant…..she is speaking, loudly!
PGV had to evacuate when Leilani Estates had to evacuate and said they secured the site. They also left 60,000 gallons of pentane (highly flammable) locked inside. Nothing, I repeat nothing, will stop the flow of lava. If that pentane were to be hit by lava it would create an explosion that would affect a square mile – that is just the explosion. The toxic gas cloud created by that would be much more harmful and create much loss of life. When PGV said they would move the pentane when and IF needed, the Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, took action with an emergency proclamation to ensure the pentane was moved. It is still on the island – we are hoping this activates many people to ensure the plant is not reopened. It is not owned by a Hawaii corporation, and it powers not the locals – but mostly the resorts on the Kona side of the island.
I told Sherry people might think I’m woo woo…..but, I am, so here goes! Our neighbor spoke to a Kahuna yesterday (Hawaiian Shaman) and she said Pele has made her point, and things should be calming down soon. I choose to trust that. I believe our home will be safe. I pray for my neighbors who have lost their homes, for friends and family who have been sick, scared and tired. And, I also know in true Aloha style, we will all help each other recover.
We are waiting to schedule our move until we see how the next week or two plays out. Will the cone blow if the lava lake drops below the water table? Time will tell. Our home is about 15 miles away from that cone. Will the road closures affect our ability to access our house? Right now, there is still one way in…..time will tell.
But this I do know – Hawaii will be my home. And I am anxious to see what will evolve and how I can be of service…..and if I will earn the title of Punatic! In the meantime, may we all walk in beauty.
Mahalo and much Aloha,