Ever since May 2nd when Kilauea volcano began to erupt on the Big Island of Hawaii, possibly due to the frequent earthquakes, the Hawaiian landscape has changed. Twenty fissures have emerged in neighborhoods on the eastern side of the island. All of the fissures have spewed lava at some point, and now all are oozing a toxic sulfur dioxide. To stay safe from this gas, officials are urging residents and visitors to use a particular mask. Most masks won’t protect from the inhalation of the gas and the ash that occasionally emerges and falls out of the sky from the Halemaumau Crater of Kilauea.
Not only have these lava flows covered over a hundred acres of land, destroying over 35 buildings, and made an environment of dangerous air quality, but it’s ruining the tourism industry. As summer nears, the island typically expects an influx of people. Hawaii tourism has already lost at least $5 million due to the decrease in tourists.
We want to take you through various satellite images of what the landscape looked like before and after the lava flows from some of the fissures in the communities of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. Click and drag the bar to compare these before and after photos below, courtesy of DigitalGlobe.