By now, I think the entire world is aware of the latest volcanic activity of Kilauea on Hawaii Island.
As serious as the situation is, the corporate news outlets have used sensational headlines such as: “Volcano erupts in Hawaii forcing thousands to evacuate!”, “Volcano alert urges Hawaii’s Big Island residents to get out!”, and “Hawaii residents flee after Kilauea volcano eruptions”. All of these statements are correct but designed to promote fear and panic, instead of informing.
I am not trying to downplay the severity of this event at all. I just think, for the people outside of Hawai’i Island, especially those that have family and friends here, have been whipped into a frenzy by the corporate news coverage. Images of Mount Saint Helen’s or Pompeii comes to their minds (Plinian Eruptions) when they hear of an imminent volcano eruption. There were even erroneous reports of Oahu residence being evacuated because of the volcanic eruption (No need to call out that network. All local people are hip to who it was.). Oahu is an entirely different island. Why would they be so careless in their coverage? TV networks need people to tune into their channel. The thinking is; the more sensational the story, the more viewers they will attract. The more viewers they attract, the more they can charge advertisers. It’s all about revenue (topic for another time.).
Here are a few points that I think people should be mindful of:
- Kilauea has been flowing since 1983
- Kilauea is a shield volcano with a very different eruption style than a composite cone (aka stratovolcano)
- As of today (May 8th) 37 structures have been lost to the lava flow. Yes, people have lost their homes and it is possible that there will be more
- Leilani Estates and Lanipuna subdivisions have been evacuated, approximately 1800, displaced from their homes with an uncertainty of ever being able to return to them
- Sulfur dioxide is emanating from the eruption site, making it a dangerous situation for the young, elderly, and those with respiratory conditions.
- NO ONE has died or been injured
- This is precisely how the Hawaiian Islands were formed
If you would like to take a break from all of the sensational presentations of what’s going on, I encourage you to visit the site links below:
U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory site: Click Here
County of Hawaii’s Civil Defence:
Message and alerts page Click Here
If you would like to support the displaced families of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna, please contact the following initiatives and groups for info on how you can help:
Grassroots community led Pu’uhonua o Puna. For their FaceBook page Click Here
Hilo-born Major League Baseball player Kolten Wong, of the St. Louis Cardinals, is leading a GoFundMe campaign for the families: Click Here