Pele, Hawaii's Volcano Godess has taken her first house in Pahoa
- Aloha Nui!
The lava flow threatening Pahoa Town is, as of today (11/10/2014),
in the village. It has stopped only a few yards short of crossing
the main road in Pahoa, but the flow is oozing out of many break-outs
upslope from there. It has finally taken its first house and
this morning began inundating the Pahoa Transfer Station. It
has become an agonizing waiting game for the residents of Pahoa
and the vicinity. Many have evacuated, some are still waiting
until the lava is at their doors.
Meanwhile, if (when?) the flow takes out the road through Pahoa
and then the highway, the folks who live south of Pahoa Town
will at least have a way in and out now on the old roads made
passable by the County crews. For now, these roads are still
open, but it seems it is just a matter of time.
- For accurate
day-to-day information on this, go to: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php
- Maps, photos,
Webcam views, and other information about Kilauea Volcano are
- There are always
current videos of this event in real time on Youtube. Enter "Pahoa
lava flow" and check the "filters" box for today's
OK, since you are probably here because of an interest in living
in Hawaii and particularly on the awesome Big Island, how does
it affect you and your choices of where to look? Is this your
golden opportunity to buy some bargain-priced real estate?
If Pele's history is any guide, this lava flow will, if it continues
to flow, eventually make its way to the ocean. Unless it finds
some old tubes (underground tunnels from ancient lava flows)
and goes underground, it will take out all three of the roads
connecting any areas of Puna south of Pahoa to Hilo and environs.
At that point, the only way to get in and out will be the newly
restored Chain of Craters Road that goes through Hawaii Volcanoes
National Park. That will mean well over an hour's drive to Hilo,
not an attractive option for anyone who needs to commute. The
County is working on that road repair now.
- The volcano
is and always has been unpredictable. This current flow could
stop today and never restart. It could continue but dramatically
change direction and spare Pahoa altogether. It could make its
way to the ocean and then stop forever, allowing the roads it
covers to be repaired. That's the really difficult part; there
is no way to plan any solutions or repairs.
- The County is
working hard to avoid leaving 9000 folks stranded in Lower Puna,
and will continue to do so. But keep in mind that no County road
department is able to stay ahead of Pele when she wants it her
way. For a reminder of what can happen, check out Google's satellite
view of the eight miles of road that she took out over many years,
starting at Kalapana and then up Chain of Craters Road. And even
when the County finishes building a new road over the top of
that old, cold flow, it could get covered again.
- So back to real
estate. Right now, there are many homes and lots on the market
at bargain prices. Your job, if this sounds attractive to you,
is to asses your personal needs. Will you need to get in and
out of the area on a regular basis? How willing are you to take
your chances on what Madam Pele has in store?
If you feel lucky, go shopping. If you're still interested in
this wonderful, exciting and ever-changing part of Paradise,
study a good map of the entire area so you'll get a better picture
of what it looks like, where everything is relative to Pahoa
Town and the current lava flow, and where the roads are that
will most likely be your link to the rest of the Island. If you
have no need to be close to town, the areas south of Pahoa could
be the answer for you.
- This is also
an opportunity to rent a home at a bragain rate. There are many
homes now vacated by tenants who need to commute on a daily basis
and didn't want to take any chances. The owners of these homes
would, in many cases, rather rent at a reduced rate than to leave
their homes empty. Some very good deals could be made with folks
who have their empty homes for sale, if you don't mind the thought
of having to move again if the house sells. This would work well
if you're just trying to get a feel for the area and to have
a place to land for a while.
If you find yourself working directly with an owner selling his
or her home, please keep in mind that s/he is very likely selling
under duress. Please be sensitive and work with this person in
a manner like you would appreciate if you were in their predicament.
Nobody likes to feel taken advantage of.
- Keep in mind
that all of this conversation is about the areas of the Puna
District south of Pahoa. Any areas north of Pahoa and the Hawaiian
Beaches subdivision are unaffected by this situation, at least
as it is projected to progress.
I'm checking in daily with the events here and will post new
Updates as things move along. My thoughts go out to those for
whom this is a troubling time.
Mahalo for listening, and if you have any questions or other
thoughts you would like to share, please feel free to email me!
With abundant aloha always,
Skip & Camille
- We wish
you all the best, and never forget to
Thomsen & Ohana