I was up at 5:30 to do a little stargazing and also to prepare a couple of things for the Thanksgiving celebration at Cousin's house. Looking over Hilo, I saw the red glow of the Kilauea eruption. The forward front has stopped moving, and it has broken out about 3 1/2 miles above Pahoa Town. This is what the eruption looked like at 6:30 a.m. It's approximately 25 miles away. You can enlarge this.
Everyone was sure that by now Pahoa would be impacted and Highway 130, lower Puna's link to Hilo, would have been cut off. Emergency roads are in place, because this eruption could break out anywhere along its path to the ocean, and people must be prepared. Puna residents regard this as a reprieve, not as a sign that the community will be saved. Worrisome is the possibility that because of the changed topography due to lava mounding up and diverting the flow north, the flow could go down Makuu St., impacting Paradise Park.
The fact is that the current eruption will eventually cover everything down there. What is not to know is how long it will take. This is too much uncertainty for most to live with. Many have left. The real estate market has crashed, leaving renters glad they have rented and not bought.
The Tongan man who comes and picks our breadfruit every Thanksgiving says his place is right in the path of the flow, but he rents. His wife works at the Safeway Deli in town and makes a pretty good wage. But where will they live? From what I've heard from Day-Lum, the agency that manages our rental, rentals are getting hard to find in Hilo. As well, this is a college town, so Puna folks will be competing with students for places to live.