Fil-Am Big Island resident: coping with the volcano’s wrath is a way of life

HAWAII — After nearly three weeks worth of eruptions, the lava and fumes continue in Hawaii’s Big Island.

Now, lava splatter has injured one person as it crosses the 137 Highway and into the Pacific Ocean.

Local Filipinos like Ariel Murphy have been keeping close watch on the activity.

She lives close to Leilani Estates, the first community to be evacuated when mount Kīlauea first erupted on May 3rd.

But she stands by what she says since we met her during the first weeks.

She’s lived there for nearly 20 years.

“As we say in Hawaii, we just gotta go with the flow, it’s nature. You can’t fight nature. You gotta take care of nature, you gotta take care of the land, or the land is going to do something.”

She’s kept the same attitude the past few weeks as the volcanic activity has continued.

While the added explosions have worsened air quality in recent days and ash masks have been distributed, the spilling of lava into the ocean is expected to create more toxic fumes in the area.

Lava haze, or laze, can cause skin and eye irritations.

“It kind of goes with the territory when you have a volcano spewing lava from the vents. There are gases. Toxic poisonous gases,” says Murphy.

While no mandatory evacuations have been ordered, additional road closures have been issued since the latest eruptions, and the coast guard is now patrolling the lava affected oceans.

 

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