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You cannot change the direction

I've been paying attention to the leisurely flow of Kilauea's lava toward the village of Pahoa, and over the weekend, they had a story on NPR about the possibility of diverting the lava. They had on John Lockwood, Volcanologist and Lava Diverter, to talk about it.

But, as the report noted, not everyone thinks the lava should be diverted. One woman said,

You cannot change the direction. It's Mother Nature. It's like me telling you, "Move the moon because it's too bright."

The photo of twin rivers of brilliant lava that accompanied the NPR story was actually from an eruption of Mt. Etna (whose diversion Lockwood consulted on), so I searched for a picture of the current flow, and found this one on the blog of Cassie Holmes, whose sister lives in Pahoa:


She's been documenting the slow advance of the lava, and offers her own reflections on living with an active volcano:

Puna will always be my home and no matter what happens with the lava I will continue to go back, even if it means hiking over freshly cooled lava to get there (September 17)


“Why would anyone want to live on an active volcano?” That is the question I’m hearing a lot right now, but first let me ask you this – Why would anyone want to live where there are earthquakes, tornados, fires, droughts, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis? Anywhere we choose to live there is some kind of natural disaster that could happen, it’s just mother nature. (October 29)


And I think, Yes.


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:04 am (UTC)
The raw fury there is mind-boggling.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:40 pm (UTC)
I think of it more just as power. Mind-boggling power.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
Wow, the picture of the lava eating that road is so very dramatic. Mother Nature indeed. Wins every time.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:39 pm (UTC)
Mother nature wins so unconcernedly, too.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:56 am (UTC)
Volcanic eruptions result in fertile soil, don't they?

(did you see my recent entries about cats, operas, and turtles?)
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
Just went back to the entries I'd missed. And now I want a bath in fine volcanic dust.
Nov. 4th, 2014 03:00 am (UTC)
And if you divert, it becomes someone else's problem. And yeah, nature rules, in the end. And also, we are nature, so...I have no idea.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:38 pm (UTC)
So true about diversion! And yes, it's a conundrum. It's like when my dad would yell at the cat for chasing birds, and my mom would say, "but it's her nature," and my dad would say, "and it's *my* nature to interfere."

I have no idea either, but I love... not sure what the object of my love is. Human spirit? The power of nature? I love that we love so hard, I guess.

Or anyway, that's *one* thing that I love.
(Deleted comment)
- asakiyume - Nov. 4th, 2014 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mnfaure - Nov. 4th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 4th, 2014 05:59 am (UTC)
Pele has her needs.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
She most certainly does.
Nov. 4th, 2014 08:09 am (UTC)
I didn't get to see any live flows when I was there, but it was amazing to walk across a lava field and to marvel at how far away the volcano from which it came was.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:33 pm (UTC)
One day I'd like to go visit *several* volcanoes. A trip to even one would require major financing, though at least with Hawaii I wouldn't have to get any visas.
Nov. 4th, 2014 09:13 am (UTC)
We *chose* to move to an earthquake zone. We were driving back here on the day the disaster happened that destroyed a quarter of this city; we were evacuated out the next day and we came back as soon as we got our visas to live here. And it's amazing - it's a huge privilege to live here, it's an even bigger privilege to be part of the recovery - and there are *jobs* here, omg.

And people think I'm crazy, but I tell you this and I swear it's true. If the next big one happens and we don't make it out - we had the time of lives here.
Nov. 4th, 2014 12:44 pm (UTC)
I think you're living the only way to live. More power to you!
Nov. 4th, 2014 10:55 am (UTC)
One of the fascinating things about visiting Iceland was realising how people cope with living somewhere where the geology is very lively: lots of monitoring, advance warning, evacuation and repair.

And, as you say, yes.
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
"lively geology"--I *love* that phrase. Lively geology. Perfect. Like "excitable weather."
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC)
Did you, by chance, ever read Kimo and Madam Pele?
Nov. 4th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
No I didn't--does Kimo actually meet her?
(no subject) - amaebi - Nov. 4th, 2014 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 4th, 2014 03:32 pm (UTC)
I definitely wouldn't want to live somewhere where there were earthquakes, tornados, fires, droughts, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis. *laugh*

Here in sunny Michigan we only get tornados, fires, droughts, floods, blizzards, and ice storms and that is quite enough. ;)
Nov. 4th, 2014 03:43 pm (UTC)
I think with tornados, fires, droughts, floods, blizzards, and ice storms, you're well enough blessed with larger-than-human natural events. Definitely gotta leave some terrifying experiences off the table, I think :-P
Nov. 4th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
In the top photo in the right lane there are two four-footed fire animals, one walking to the left and one to the right.
Nov. 5th, 2014 06:06 am (UTC)
I see them!
Nov. 5th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
That last quote is indeed a thing. I have never lived anywhere not subject to several kinds of natural disaster.
Nov. 5th, 2014 11:39 pm (UTC)
Natural disasters are terrifying, but I also find it *comforting* that we're not the most powerful thing in the universe--that we can be batted around and devastated by something other than ourselves.
Nov. 6th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
It is something everywhere. In Ks we used to sit in the basement and listen to the radion during tornadoe warnings.

We are doing our best to get out of SoCal but then the equake risk is not at all reduced in the NW. Maybe I could retrofit [strengthen] whatever house we get...
Nov. 9th, 2014 03:09 pm (UTC)
We try our best to be safe, but these forces are bigger, much bigger, than we are.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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