Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory would like to thank everyone who participated in the programs conducted during Volcano Awareness Month (January 2010). Although the designated month has come to an end, we hope it has inspired island residents and visitors to continue their quests to become more aware of the volcanoes on which we live, work, and play. In addition to this Web site, a good source of information about Hawaiian volcanoes is the special newspaper insert distributed during Volcano Awareness Month.
January 2010 was also the 50th anniversary of the Kapoho eruption on Kīlauea's lower east rift zone. The 36-day-long eruption began on January 13, 1960, and ended on February 19.
February marked the 55th anniversary of another notable event on Kīlauea. On February 28, 1955, fumes southwest of Pu`u Honua`ula signaled the start of a lower east rift zone eruption that continued for 88 days. By the time it ended on May 26, lava had buried almost 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) of land, including more than 10 km (6 miles) of public roads.
Kīlauea's 1955 and 1960 eruptions, as well as its current ongoing east rift zone eruption, are reminders of why it's important to understand how Hawai'i's volcanoes work. Awareness is key to living with an ever-changing volcanic landscape.
Aerial view of an 'a'ā lava flow entering the ocean near Kehena on April 4, 1955. USGS Photo