Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Earth acting up

We had a little earthquake last night, shaking us just enough to remind that the earth can move.

This prompted me to check in on the ongoing volcanic eruption underway on the Big Island of Hawaii. This video provides the most vital footage I could find, from the exhausted-appearing scientist offering the US Geological Survey report and warnings, through the local guys in the National Guard doing their best to assist in a community disaster, through the extraordinary closing close ups of an inexorable lava flow. Somebody wanted us to see what it's like to have the earth's molten core crawling toward us.

With this going on not far from Hilo, I miss my friend Hattie, recently deceased, who would have provided a realistic local picture.

I do have another friend on the Big Island who is experiencing the volcano's awakening from a different vantage point. Andrew is a technician/engineer caring for the Keck telescopes located on the top of Mauna Kea. He begins his description of the mountain's recent stirrings like this:

The ground beneath us is one constant in life you just expect to never change. Solid and unyielding, we build our lives upon the firm foundations of the Earth. When this constant betrays us it is truly disconcerting. The world loses some of its comforting stability.

Last Friday was a day when our islands were reminded of the instability of our world in a rather abrupt fashion.

It was clear weeks ago that the volcano was restless. volcanophiles like myself found ourselves checking the reports and charts daily. ...

A Darker View

Then came the 6.9 earthquake last Friday. Read it all at the link. Andrew is not eager to experience anything like it again.


Celia said...

Odd, I was thinking about Hattie yesterday too. Miss her perception and wit.

Rain Trueax said...

i thought about Hattie too. I wonder how close she was to it with it south of Hilo. I've seen St Helens from the distance and felt quakes a few times-- the worst being when I dropped to my knees as I felt I could not stay standing. We have so little control. I love going to Yellowstone but you can't be there and not think of the power of the earth and the uncertainty for what it'll do.

Brandon said...

Marianna, if she were alive and well today, would be on top of the eruption news. Leilani Estates is about 23 miles southeast of Hilo, and lava flows from Kilauea won't reach Hilo. Winds have blown most of the vog away from Hilo as well. Things are always changing, however. As one who was born, raised, and still lives in Hilo, I can discern what is accurate and not in the coverage of the eruption.

Sensationalistic coverage is a major reason why people are running scared, to the point of some cruise ships cancelling stops in Hilo and Kona! (The last eruption on the Kona side, from Mount Hualalai, was in 1801.)

janinsanfran said...

Hi Brandon -- I was hoping you'd comment. Crazy about the cruise ships, especially on the Kona side! I'd come to Hilo in a minute if I could at the moment.

Andrew Cooper said...

Thanks for the plug of Darker View! Yes, I spotted your post this morning, Can it happen here? is in my permanent reading list.

Michael Strickland said...

Dear Jan: Thanks for the link to Andrew Cooper's site, which is marvelous. Just put it up at my Civic Center blogroll. I'm actually sort of happy that Hattie is not around for the present volcanic activity because she was having a hard enough time breathing as it was.

Brandon said...

@Michael: Hattie lived on the outskirts of Hilo and sometimes vog would get bad by the coast. As far as I know the wind has been keeping the vog away from Hilo. If she were alive and didn't have lung cancer, Hattie would be in her office, which was air conditioned. She'd be heartened by the various protest movements, especially the March for Our Lives and #MeToo, and she'd avidly follow all the news about the President, as she did in the last year of her life.

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