Hawaii is under siege – and the affront isn’t by humans, but mother nature herself. Repeated volcanic eruptions and earthquakes continue to rock the tiny island even now. Experts estimate the shifting volcanoes on the island have produced a total of 9,900 earthquakes in the last 30 days alone. No, that isn’t a typo; it really means nearly 10,000 earthquakes.
• Danger zones continue to be evacuated, but not everyone is cooperating. As we saw in Katrina and other major disasters, some people simply refuse to move to safety out of a misplaced desire to stay in their “homes.”
• Fortunately, Kilauea has yet to cause any direct deaths, at least that local emergency personnel are aware of. But at least one man suffered a shattered femur and severe burns when volcanic rock struck him while standing on his patio.
• Kilauea’s persistent eruptions have destroyed thousands of homes and many acres of precious natural resources. Lava flows and raining debris are the biggest dangers to locals right now, but toxic gases released from the eruptions can also cause difficulty breathing and even poisoning.
• The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency continues to aid local residents by guiding them out of danger zones and to safe shelter. Entire zones, including most of Kapoho and Leilani Estates, have been obliterated by the eruptions and spreading lava flows.
• Conservative estimates suggest several thousand people have been totally displaced by the event. The Red Cross is making shelter available in several locations for anyone without a place to go.
• Are you a Hawaii resident impacted by the volcanic eruptions and/or earthquakes? You can check whether your home is in a danger area by viewing the Red Cross danger map here.
• At United Voice, your safety matters to us. Please heed evacuation requests and head to safety promptly, even if you don’t feel you are in danger. No one wants to lose a property or be displaced, but your life is worth far more than any material goods.
• Need help now? Dial (808) 961-8223 to reach the Hawaii Civil Defense office for instructions and support. Or, dial 1-808-734-2101 to reach the Red Cross.
• Want to help support Hawaiian residents displaced or impacted by the fire? CNN reported that St. Louis Cardinals baseball player Kolten Wong initiated a GoFundMe campaign at this link. You can also donate directly to the Red Cross.