Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Maui feeling effects of Big Island Kilauea hawaiivolcanic eruptions

It's not as bad on Maui but tourists and locals are being advised to take precautions
Patti Pietschmann

A voggy morning in Maui

Well I just wrote yesterday that "first and foremost only the Big Island is affected by Pelee's eruptions so far. Lava flows, of course, won't hit the other islands, but wind changes could cause odors and ashes to hit the other islands."  And  it's happened. 

While Maui is 91.8 miles from the Big Island, residents and to tourists are being warned to  take precautions due to air pollution caused by  toxic ash flying onto the beaches  and the island. In my post yesterday I wrote that Hawaii Governor Ige was  under playing the situation saying there was no cause for alarm. Well perhaps not "alarm"  but the lava the spewing from Pelee is putting a haze into the atmosphere that contains microscopic shards of glass that is quite perilous to breathe. 

This morning, May 23 ,tradewinds were pushing those poison clouds into the sea causing health concerns for people with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children. The air cleared up somewhat later in day but still some hotel and condo renters have reported cancellations due to this latest revelation.  The areas of Kihei  and Kaanapali have been hit hardest but winds can change again.

What is vog all about?
Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight.

Vog is no stranger to  Hawaii and reared it's head at the first outbreak of the Big Island volcano. It may cause asthma and uncomfortable condition. Vog is always a problem in Kona, and sometimes a more milder version is found on Oahu. 
 Maui officials have  posted this health message:
 Avoid outdoor activity and exercise during vog conditions. Stay indoors and close windows and doors. If an air conditioner is used, set it to recirculate.  Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Stay hydrated (always a good idea in the tropics). 
For  more about emergency preparedness or to sign up for Maui County’s Maka’ala alert system, call 808-270-7285 or visit