In a Proclamation from the County of Hawai'i, January 2010 has been designated "Volcano Awareness Month." Throughout the month, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), in cooperation with Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai'i County Civil Defense, and the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, will sponsor various events to promote the importance of understanding and respecting the volcanoes on which we live.
Volcano Awareness Month kicked off on Saturday, January 2. The outdoor public event had to be cancelled due to poor air quality that morning, but media were able to videotape event speakers inside HVO. The Sunday, January 3rd, editions of Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today include a special newspaper insert containing lots of volcano awareness information and a calendar of events.
Activities scheduled for the rest of the month include guided hikes, evening talks, teacher workshops and other extraordinary programs focusing on Hawaiian volcanoes. Click on the links below for more information.
January 3, 2010, marks the 27th anniversary of Kīlauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption. In 2010, it will also be 20 years since Kalapana was buried beneath lava and 50 years since Kapoho was inundated by fast-moving lava flows. The destruction of these two communities is a sobering reminder of why it's important to understand how Hawai'i's volcanoes work.
Volcanoes are integral to life on Hawai'i Island. Volcanoes provide the soils in which we grow coffee, macadamia nuts, and other agricultural products, and supply energy for our electricity. When they erupt, they can be spectacularly beautiful, mesmerizing both residents and visitors who are lucky enough to witness the drama.
Volcanoes were so significant to early Hawaiian settlers that an entire theology—the goddess Pele and her family—was founded on them. Today, as in the past, awareness is essential for us to live in harmony with the volcanoes that make our island home.
Volcano Awareness Month provides unparalleled opportunities for you to learn more about Hawaiian volcanoes, so we encourage you to participate in the events.