This Drone Footage of Kilauea’s Impending Eruption Is Gorgeous, Terrifying

Nature is chaos. Don't forget it.

By The Editors
May 24, 2018 9:00 am

Since early May, the world has been keeping an eye on the ongoing activity at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii … you know, the one whose name means “spewing” or “much spreading.” It’s technically been active in the geologic sense since 1983, and that has presented obstacles for property owners and residents of the area. But on May 3rd of this year, an episode and accompanying earthquake (magnitude 6.9) presented rumblings and eruptions that have (so far) destroyed several dozen homes and forced more than 2,000 evacuations in the area.

It’s ravaging the paradisiacal with 300-foot lava spews (expected to reach 600 feet soon) and consuming everything in its path: cars, gates, family homes.

The footage above was captured by a pilot in the Drone Racing League (related to Formula One racing) in the weeks leading up to the initial major event. The pilot, who goes by Gab707, was able to get just a few meters from the lava with his drone, and now his footage is but one more piece of evidence behind the bevy of destructive phenomena that continue to plague the region.

A few other developments:

  • The smoke created when hot lava meets the sea is toxic, and motorists and outdoorsy folks have been warned by the Civil Defense agency of Hawaii.
  • The flow is moving towards the one of the main sources of power for the Big Island, a geothermal power plant, with unknown but potentially fatal consequences upon contact between the plant and the lava.
  • And the fissures caused in the aftermath are now emitting blue flames because of the methane trapped underground, which creates a potentially super-flammable reaction when they meet.

A gentle reminder that we are ultimately insignificant, and subjected to the whims of the world we inhabit. Not the other way around.

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