Natural Hazards Big Island
Hurricane Season is from June to November, so be prepared. In August of 2016, we had a close call with Madeline. Steve Businger of UH Mānoa has a great description of Hurricanes in Hawaiʻi, including an explanation of the fortuitous shearing effect of winds aloft vs trade winds that occurs adjacent to the island chain.
Information on the current eruption: USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. For information and updates about current Hawaiʻi hazards: Civil Defense.
New! IVHHN Vog Dashboard has all the information you need about vog.
The Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes is a training and outreach program located at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Our emphasis has always been to provide information on volcanic hazards that occur in Hawaiʻi and worldwide, but we have expanded our program to include other natural hazards as well: earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and brush fires. There are many web pages that describe the science of natural hazards, and we provide links to these pages. Our hazards web pages emphasize natural hazards in Hawaiʻi and the mitigation steps you can take to protect your property, home and family. You can't stop a natural disaster, but by preparing now, you can lessen its impact on you.
2018 Eruption Response: UH Hilo Provides Space for HVO
The Geology Department at the University of Hawaii at Hilo is proud to have played a small role assisting the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory indirectly, with monitoring the eruption. Because of the extraordinary timing of the events, final exams had just been completed on campus, as the HVO building at the summit of Kilauea was beginning to crack. With school finished, the Geology Department had several empty classrooms, labs and offices available, which HVO staff were happy to move into temporarily, so that they could continue monitoring the volcano without a pause.
Towards the end of summer, CSAV International scientists were allowed to visit the eruption in Puna, to learn how the USGS monitors volcanic activity using drones.
2018 Caldera Collapse: Crack Patrol Gathers Data
The large cracks associated with the summit collapse around Halemaumau were obvious. But HVO staff wondered, might there be smaller cracks, just outside of Kilauea Caldera, that would indicate possible widening of the caldera, which could threaten adjacent roads and buildings? In forested areas, such cracks would not be visible to drones, helicopters or satellites. Our first mission was to hike the trails, assisted by UH Hilo Geology students, and document these small and concealed cracks.
2017 King Tides in Hilo
Luckily for Hilo, the King Tide of May 2017 did not coincide with high surf in Keaukaha. The side-by-side images above show the difference in low and King tide at Richardson's Beach Park, where brackish fish ponds are just inland of the ocean. If a King tide occurs during conditions of high surf, tropical storm, tsunami, or hurricane, the impacts of these natural disasters will be amplified. Be ready for all natural disasters by planning ahead, and avoiding the areas of impact. Stay safe!
Visit our CSAV channel on YouTube for dozens of outstanding mini videos!
Keep up-to-date on Facebook for CSAV events & hazard updates.
Back to the CSAV home page for details about our volcano programs!
“Los desastres naturales no existen. Se presenta un desastre, no por causa de la Naturaleza, sino por la falta de preparacion por parte de la Sociedad.” (Hugo Delgado Granados) There’s no such thing as natural disasters. Disasters take place, not by Nature's hand, but by the lack of preparation on the part of Society.
— VOLCANOES, Global Perspectives, John P. Lockwood & Richard W. Hazlett