Geography in Action
Even though Hawaii is known for being a beautiful vacation destination it is also a major hotspot for volcanoes. Hawaii is home to one particularly active volcano, Kilauea. Kilauea is a shield volcano, which is only explosive if water gets into the main vent, otherwise it erupts by magma overflowing out. Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. On May 3rd, 2018, Kilauea had a massive eruption. After the eruption a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit on May 4th, hitting the south flank of the volcano, the most powerful earthquake to hit the island since 1975. The volcano also opened fissures into the Leilani estates. The lava usually flows into the sea from the subterranean channels but in this case the lava poured into neighborhoods, consuming entire blocks. At least 1700 residents were forced to leave their homes and 700 homes were destroyed on the east rift zone of the volcano. This effects humans, animals, or anything that is in the path of the lava flow. The eruption affects us because you can’t just move your house out of the way, there will be no remains of your home if it is in the way of the lava flow. The lava flow also destroys power lines, so major power outages could occur. The same goes for trees plants, and everything that can’t move. Fortunately, the lava flows at a turtle’s pace, so it is unlikely the lava will catch up to you or most animals. How do the geographical spheres come into play in this unfortunate event? First, the lava comes from the lithosphere from under the ground, when the lava is underground, we call it magma instead. When Kilauea first erupted in 1983 it showed no sign of magma stopping the flow out ever since. This has had a great effect on the biosphere because instead of nice-looking trees and all the nice thing’s nature has to show us there is only scorching hot rock now, which kind of looks cooler in my opinion. How are people responding to the eruption? There is really no way to stop a 1500-degree Fahrenheit river of molten rock so peoples only option are to get out of the way or abandon their homes. Same thing with looking for solutions, there is just no stopping the lava, all you can do is protect yourself as best as you can. Organizations can help house and feed people who have lost their home and have nowhere to go. This situation makes me feel very bad for the people that lost their homes. I feel the absolute worst way to lose something is off bad luck, such as your house just happening to be in the way of a lava flow, it feels unfair, but you can’t do anything about it because we will never control mother nature. A solution I would propose is to help by donating food, water and giving the victims some type of comfortable shelter. Unfortunately, like many natural disasters we cannot do anything about prevention, we can only prepare for the aftermath.