Last night, a little past midnight, I woke up to the sound of car horns and someone at my door. I was informed that Mauna Loa was erupting. In a groggy state, my family began our emergency action plan. I monitored the situation online while my husband and son prepared for a possible evacuation. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do while half asleep, but having a plan made things go a lot smoother.
Within minutes we had everything on our list ready to go. The dog harness was on the Jack Russell Terror and the two exceptionally cute cats were in their carriers. At that point, I had found enough information letting us know the lava was confined within the caldera for the time being. We were told to be prepared for a possible evacuation, but to also sit tight unless something changed.
There was a surreal moment, as Hawai’i residents from all around the island stepped out of their homes and looked up at the orange sky in a state of wonder. A volcanic eruption is one of the most beautiful and powerful experiences I have ever encountered on this planet. There is something truly magical about watching an island grow and the extraordinary experience can be lifechanging.
I’ve always known that a Mauna Loa eruption has never been a question of if, but when one would occur. I’ve known that it would be imperative to move quickly if lava was heading in our direction. We live on the steep slopes of Mauna Loa where lava moves like water, and can meet the ocean within three hours. I am aware there is currently lava above the subdivision where I live. I am aware that I could lose my home or the roads could become blocked. But these are all risks I’m willing to take. This is my home.