Aloha! Hawaii! The fresh flowers and the calm waters is what one mostly thinks of when we talk of this island. But all is not that hunky dory!! The largest island amongst an archipelago of eight major islands, is home to probably the most active volcano on earth – Kilauea (pronounced as Kil-uh-wai-aa) volcano.
Kilauea is a hyperactive shield volcano. Shield volcanoes get their name from the fact that they have a low profile and are spread over a wide area, just like how a warrior’s shield would look like if it were lying on the ground!
On June 27, 2014, the lava began flowing out of the volcano’s Pu’u O’o vent. Believe it or not but Kilauea current eruption began on January 3, 1983. It is by far the longest-lived major eruption in the volcano’s history. After months of lava flowing out, the seething gooey lava has entered into the eastern city of Pahoa and destroyed first house on its way. It took about 45 minutes for the burning lava to engulf the house. No one got hurt as the slow lava flow had given residents much time to evacuate.
A Mumbai Resident, Shraboni, visited Hawaii with her family recently in the month of October. She was mesmerised to see the fuming orange beauty.
She says, “During the day the volcano and the landscape around looks more ashen, and you just see the smoke billowing. After sunset, you can see the glow of the lava. The whole lava lake looks orange. It is like a phenomenally large natural Blast Furnace. As the environment becomes quieter, you can hear the molten lava swooshing in the lava lake and see flares from time to time. You come back realising how powerful nature is and how foolish we are to mess with it.”
Nature is indeed very powerful and mysterious. Wouldn’t you agree?