Entire communities on the main island of Hawaii are being wiped out due to lava from the Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The volcano has been erupting for over a month, and many people are unsure if their homes still exist.
It all started on May 3, when a fissure opened up in Leilani Estates on the Big Island. Lava spewed up to 150 feet in the air and spread over 200 yards wide, causing mandatory evacuations. Six weeks later, the lava has taken over 2,000 acres of land.
In the midst of the destruction, Reuters photographer Mario Garcia snapped a photo of Hawaii National Guard Major Jeff Hickman standing in front of a disaster resistant SteelMaster building, surrounded by lava, in Leilani Estates near Pahoa, Hawaii. The custom end walls were gone, but the steel arches were still standing.
“[The eruption] is unpredictable and you need to be safe and prepared for everything,” Major Hickman told Hawaii News Now.
SteelMaster’s metal Quonset HutsTM are specifically engineered to withstand some of the most extreme natural and manmade conditions. Our buildings are made with 100% high quality, commercial grade steel that has been subjected to several rigorous tests to see how it holds up in an intense fire.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the eruption temperature of Kilauea lava is about 2,140 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes more than that amount of heat, 2,500 degrees, for steel to even begin to burn.
One of the amazing benefits of owning a Quonset HutTM is its unmatched protection from fire-related disasters. When trying to protect your family and property from fire-related damages, a SteelMaster Quonset HutTM is the most economical and safest decision.
Leilani Estates is located in the eastern tip of Hawaii Island in the District of Puna. The area is located in lava hazard zone 1, one of the most dangerous areas on the island in terms of volcanic eruption. Nearly all erupted lava emerges from the ground within that hazard zone, according to the United States Geological Survey.
So far, an estimated 600 to 700 homes have been claimed by lava from the devastating force of the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said.
Residents of the Big Island are not in the clear yet, as the volcano is showing no signs of calming down.
However, there’s one bit of good news. The molten rock from the Kilauea is moving slowly enough that people are able to evacuate the Big Island before lava heads in their direction. The deadly Fuego volcano in Guatemala has caused even more devastation than Kilauea, mostly due to pyroclastic flows, Tamsin Mather, professor of earth sciences at the University of Oxford told Newsweek. Pyroclastic flows are a mixture of hot rock fragments, hot gasses and entrapped air that moves at a high speed in clouds that hug the ground. The flow can travel up to 100 miles per hour.
SteelMaster’s metal buildings are specially designed with your safety in mind. We stand by the quality and durability of our structures. We’re saddened by the tragedy and devastation that has hit this beautiful island and are keeping those affected in our thoughts.