Kilauea’s eruption is disrupting island life with no end in sight electricity in the 1920s

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Evacuated residents are allowed into the neighborhood to check on their homes for a period each day — 7am until 6pm — conditions permitting. For some, it’s a chance to chart the lava’s progression and to see if any new fissures are opening in the ground near their homes.

Stacy Welch moved to Leilani Estates from Northern California 11 months ago — fulfilling her dream of returning to live in the state of her birth. Outside her driveway, the road is buckling with cracks. Behind her one-acre lot and across the street, a fissure has opened. As she stands in front of her home, she watches the plume of gas rise above the trees.

"My house is standing. Thank you, Pele," Welch said, referring to the goddess believed to live in the caldera of Kilauea. "My house is a couple feet away from fissure number nine, so we have to have our gas masks on. We try to check on our house at least once a day."

The streets inside Leilani Estates are oddly empty. Many smooth, paved roads are now marked by jagged cracks — some so large further passage is impossible. The crevasses are created by the moving lava underground. Residents say the cracks appeared first, then steam began to seep out and finally lava — the birthing process of a volcanic fissure.

In some places, the roads are still lined in verdant green dotted with the bright reds and purples of tropical flowers. But close to the vents the plants are a sickly yellow-brown from the volcanic gases that continue to eerily steam out of the fissures, warm and, at times, opaque.

It is impossible to get close to those cracks without a gas mask. The metallic taste of the sulphur dioxide lingers and irritates the eyes and throat. The fissures often rumble as they are erupting, the pounding heard over a mile away — caused by that dangerous mix of molten rock and deadly volcanic gases being forced from deep within the earth. The blasts at times sound like a jet taking off; at other times, they are short and powerful like a canon.

For long-time residents of the Big Island, they know they live in the shadow of volcanoes. They have seen Kilauea’s east rift zone spew lava as recently as November 2014. With no end in sight to Kilauea’s disruption, residents here are at the mercy of Pele.

Evacuated residents are allowed into the neighborhood to check on their homes for a period each day — 7am until 6pm — conditions permitting. For some, it’s a chance to chart the lava’s progression and to see if any new fissures are opening in the ground near their homes.

Stacy Welch moved to Leilani Estates from Northern California 11 months ago — fulfilling her dream of returning to live in the state of her birth. Outside her driveway, the road is buckling with cracks. Behind her one-acre lot and across the street, a fissure has opened. As she stands in front of her home, she watches the plume of gas rise above the trees.

"My house is standing. Thank you, Pele," Welch said, referring to the goddess believed to live in the caldera of Kilauea. "My house is a couple feet away from fissure number nine, so we have to have our gas masks on. We try to check on our house at least once a day."

The streets inside Leilani Estates are oddly empty. Many smooth, paved roads are now marked by jagged cracks — some so large further passage is impossible. The crevasses are created by the moving lava underground. Residents say the cracks appeared first, then steam began to seep out and finally lava — the birthing process of a volcanic fissure.

In some places, the roads are still lined in verdant green dotted with the bright reds and purples of tropical flowers. But close to the vents the plants are a sickly yellow-brown from the volcanic gases that continue to eerily steam out of the fissures, warm and, at times, opaque.

It is impossible to get close to those cracks without a gas mask. The metallic taste of the sulphur dioxide lingers and irritates the eyes and throat. The fissures often rumble as they are erupting, the pounding heard over a mile away — caused by that dangerous mix of molten rock and deadly volcanic gases being forced from deep within the earth. The blasts at times sound like a jet taking off; at other times, they are short and powerful like a canon.

For long-time residents of the Big Island, they know they live in the shadow of volcanoes. They have seen Kilauea’s east rift zone spew lava as recently as November 2014. With no end in sight to Kilauea’s disruption, residents here are at the mercy of Pele.

Evacuated residents are allowed into the neighborhood to check on their homes for a period each day — 7am until 6pm — conditions permitting. For some, it’s a chance to chart the lava’s progression and to see if any new fissures are opening in the ground near their homes.

Stacy Welch moved to Leilani Estates from Northern California 11 months ago — fulfilling her dream of returning to live in the state of her birth. Outside her driveway, the road is buckling with cracks. Behind her one-acre lot and across the street, a fissure has opened. As she stands in front of her home, she watches the plume of gas rise above the trees.

"My house is standing. Thank you, Pele," Welch said, referring to the goddess believed to live in the caldera of Kilauea. "My house is a couple feet away from fissure number nine, so we have to have our gas masks on. We try to check on our house at least once a day."

The streets inside Leilani Estates are oddly empty. Many smooth, paved roads are now marked by jagged cracks — some so large further passage is impossible. The crevasses are created by the moving lava underground. Residents say the cracks appeared first, then steam began to seep out and finally lava — the birthing process of a volcanic fissure.

In some places, the roads are still lined in verdant green dotted with the bright reds and purples of tropical flowers. But close to the vents the plants are a sickly yellow-brown from the volcanic gases that continue to eerily steam out of the fissures, warm and, at times, opaque.

It is impossible to get close to those cracks without a gas mask. The metallic taste of the sulphur dioxide lingers and irritates the eyes and throat. The fissures often rumble as they are erupting, the pounding heard over a mile away — caused by that dangerous mix of molten rock and deadly volcanic gases being forced from deep within the earth. The blasts at times sound like a jet taking off; at other times, they are short and powerful like a canon.

For long-time residents of the Big Island, they know they live in the shadow of volcanoes. They have seen Kilauea’s east rift zone spew lava as recently as November 2014. With no end in sight to Kilauea’s disruption, residents here are at the mercy of Pele.