|The airfield (upper right) is near the coast of Hawaii so I took some shots of that area as we headed off to Kilauea. The sea wall in the upper right and lower left photos is to protect the harbor from erosion. It would have little effect on a tsunami.|
"Tsunamis are Hawaii's number one natural disaster killer."
~Brian Yanagi, Hawaii's State Civil Defense Division
Since 1812, 25 tsunami have adversely impacted the Big Island. Three were generated by seismic displacements along Kilauea's southeastern flanks, such as the 1975 Halape earthquake. This tsunami's waves were 25-50 feet high, and devastated the area within minutes, and sadly brought an end to the lives of two people camped at Halape. There was no warning and no time to respond.
Twenty-two of the tsunami which damaged the big island traveled thousands of miles across the Pacific - such as from Alaska, Chile, Japan, and Tonga.
One of the most devastating of these distant tsunamis occurred on April 1, 1946. Runup heights of greater than 9 ft were measured on all sides of the islands and the maximum of 55 feet was reported near Upolu Point. In Hilo, the wave rushed up 26 feet and inundated the low-lying ocean front causing extensive damage, which would be repeated by the 1957 and 1960 tsunamis.
A subdivision near Hilo
|Much of the island of Hawaii is tropical rain forest as you see in the left photo. You will see later where much of the forest is now under a lava flow.|
The right photo show macadamia nut farms. The taller trees running along the borders are wind breaks. The macadamia trees are not native to Hawaii (Australia) and are very susceptible to wind damage.
|As we approached Kilauea we began to see the lava flows enveloping the forests. On the right the shield has probably buried homes and roads along with the forest.|
|These next six photos are of the caldera or crater. You can see by the steam, there is much activity down there. There are cameras mounted around the rim to monitor this activity. If you visit the link I have up in the opening text, you will see what some of these cameras see.|
Along the edge of the crater
The red is molten lava
|The top of Kilauea from about 500 feet below the crest. In the right photo near the top right you can see red. This is molten lava seeping through. This vocano has several venting spots, where lava seeps to the surface.|
|More molten lava can be seen in the left photo. The lighter grey areas are much hotter and newer than the dark areas. On the right you see part of the 680 acres of new land made by Kilauea since 1983.|
|These two photos show how the perimeter highway has been cut by the volcano. There was no one here at the time, but you can drive here and walk on the lava fields.|
|It belongs to the volcano now, but eventually the forest will reclaim the land.|
|The owners of these homes can't get home anymore. All roads to these houses have been cut off by the lava flow. When you choose to live where Mother Nature plays, you run the risk of losing your home. Fortunately, no lives have been lost by the current eruption of Kilauea.|
|And so we leave Kilauea and head for a more peaceful place. The waterfalls of Hawaii|
|I can't give you a lot of information about these falls. But I can tell you, that they are beautiful. The variance in color depends on which side of the helicopter the sun was on at any given time.|
|And so it was time to return to the airfield. You can see in the right photo an island top right-center. There's a house on it. They even have their own bridge. Well the guy at the bottom of the photo has made his own island, apparently, through the use of his own tropical forest.|
I would highly recommend a helicopter tour, if you ever get to the Big Island.
This is part of a golf course
Saying, thanks and goodbye
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