The latest phase of the decades long Kilauea eruption began only about three weeks ago – but it feels like three months.
The most important thing to remember as we watch the amazing spectacle from our homes, is that it is causing a lot of human suffering even though, thankfully, only one person has been hurt.
The people who are forced to flee their homes – possibly forever – are enduring the most suffering.
Not only are they dealing with the displacement and loss, but also the stress of not knowing when it will end
or what will be left when it does.
There are also people miles from the eruption suffering from lost revenue, reduced employment hours or even layoffs because so many visitors have cancelled their Big Island vacations.
The volcano is the big attraction for visitors, which has now become too dangerous to visit. It's also affecting the air quality elsewhere on the island.
So It's not a surprise that visitors are staying away for the time being.
Farmers and their workers are also suffering as ash and sulfur damages their crops and road closures cuts off access to their farms.
People on the Big Island know how to handle hardship. They will tell you they knew what was possible, but living there is still worth the risk.
Even so, we know it is a very painful time and we look forward to helping with the healing if possible.
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