Volcanic activity in Leilani Estates closes road to our house

May 4th, 2018, when our world was literally shaken. Not once, but twice….

Volcanic activity closes road
Photos taken by me as we (husband was driving) drove North on Hwy 130 after they opened the road. The metal plates cover cracks caused by volcanic activity. The temperature of the plates were at 176 degrees, last I heard.

We live on an island with volcanic activity….

Growing up here on the Big Island earthquakes and volcanic activity were common. I recall my parents rushing into my room when I was a kid to check if I was okay, because we had just had an earthquake. They were always surprise to find me fast asleep. The only reason I woke was because they made so much noise. It takes a lot for me to get worked up about an earthquake.

Well, that day came on May 4th, 2018. While trying to leave our cabin on Kamaili Rd. I was met at the intersection of Highway 130 by a Police Officer AND National Guard Personnel telling me that the highway was closed due to volcanic activity.

As I conversed with the men in uniforms my three daughters sat wide eyed and strangely silent in the truck. My youngest daughter hearing the conversation decided to chime in, “I’ve never felt an earthquake before”.  It was as if Tutu Pele heard her words as a request and was inclined to educate my child.

With in minutes a magnitude 4.6 earthquake rolled down the mountain. The Police Officer had to steady himself and looked more like he was surfing than standing. I decided that gripping my steering wheel till my knuckles where white was the best way to brace myself…..Ummm, yeah that doesn’t really work when your truck turns into a carnival ride.


Remain calm and get to safety…..

After the swaying had subsided I asked the Police Office and National Guard personnel if they thought we should evacuate. They advised me that it would be in our best interest to get out of there and get to safety.

The clock was ticking and who knew how much time we had. My brain kicked into emergency mode and we headed back to the cabin. How could I evacuate and leave our animals behind?

We were ill prepared to move our animals is an understatement. However, between my three daughters and myself we managed to get the animals, their feed, and some precious items we couldn’t bare to leave loaded into our truck. I’m so thankful for my girls and our truck!!

We proceeded down Kamaili Rd. this time to cut across on Highway 137 (Beach Access Road). By this time I’m beginning to loosen my grip on my steering wheel just a bit. My eyes however were still darting from mirror to mirror as I realized how heavy traffic was. For those of you who don’t know. Highway 137 is not a highway at all. At best it’s a one and a half sometimes two lane road. As we made our escape heading north on highway 137 the magnitude 6.9 earthquake hits. This time the truck felt more like a roller coaster. I practically slammed on my brakes and swerved off the road.

Now that earthquake truly shook me. Never have I experienced driving during an earthquake of that magnitude. It’s something I will remember for the rest of my life.


Shake, rattle, and roll along….

I am happy to report that we all came out of it alive and well. The animals were housed at a friend’s farm in Mountain View and we terminated our lease on the cabin.

We’ve gone back several times, just my husband and I to get more of our personal stuff and to check on a neighbor. But, we are always careful to never to stay to long. Exposure to CO2 gases and the threat of the highway closing again is too risky. In fact, the last time we dared to venture down there was to meet with the FEMA Inspector. He was shooketh just driving down there minus the earthquakes….lol!!