How Are People Affected by Kilauea?
Kilauea, the largest volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, has affected the people who live in close proximity to it since humans first came to live on Hawaii. Kilauea is still active. It has been erupting constantly since 1983, according to the United States Geological Survey. Lava from the eruption has burned structures and buried roads, but there has been little loss of life as a result of Kilauea’s eruption.
Kilauea erupts regularly, generally with a large lava fountain and a release of gas and dust. The volcano is under constant surveillance by the USGS, and when the volcano shows signs of activity, people who live nearby are asked to evacuate their homes or are put on alert. The volcano also causes frequent earthquakes that have been known to damage property, cause car accidents and result in tsunamis.
In spite of its activity, Kilauea has a reputation for being a “friendly” volcano. There were only four recorded deaths in the 20th century related to Kilauea. In 1993, a photographer fell into the water while taking shots of Kilauea from the ocean side, and in 1924 a tourist was killed by a blast of falling rocks from an eruption. Two campers also died in 1975 when an earthquake resulted in a tsunami that swept them out to sea.