Kilauea Volcano’s Fiery Show on Hawaii’s Big Island

Kilauea Volcano’s Fiery Show on Hawaii’s Big Island

Posted by Hawaiian Isles on 7/26/2018 to Big Island
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Kilauea Volcano’s Fiery Show on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Halemaumau Crater is home to Madame Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire who both destroys and adds new land and life to the Hawaiian Islands!

During the helicopter overflight on June 18, crews captured this image of the growing Halemaumau Crater viewed to the southeast. With HAVO and Thomas A. Jaggar Museum sitting on the caldera rim (right side, middle where the road bends to the left), it is easier to comprehend the scale of subsidence at the summit. Photo Credit: USGS

It’s hard to wrap your mind around how something that can be as destructive and disruptive as a molten lava flow actually paves the way for new life. Volcanologists are still discovering new aspects of this dramatic phenomenon. Yet, Hawaiians have long believed that this activity is at the hands of Madame Pele, Hawaii’s goddess of fire and volcanoes.

"Madame Pele" Hawaii goddess of fire and volcanoes and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands

Visitors admiring a restored Herb Kane mural at the old Jaggar Museum, which has since closed.
Photo Credit: U.S. National Park Service

The Island of Hawaii is home to five volcanoes -- Maunakea, Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. Hawaiian mythology contends that Pele dwells at the latter’s lava lake of Halemaumau Crater. All volcanic eruptions are attributed to Pele’s yearning for her true love. Her intense passion, wicked temper, and ferocious power continue to play out in dramatic form.

Viewing The Eruption


While many park sites are closed, others are more spectacular than ever

Fissure 8 lava fountain of the lower East Rift Zone. Photo Credit: USGS

As Kilauea continues to shake the ground and blast ash from its ever-changing summit crater, parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remain closed, including the popular Thomas A. Jaggar Museum which is located near the rim of the Halemaumau Crater and overlooks Kilauea Caldera.


Yet, National Park Service rangers continue to offer complimentary programs at HAVO’s Kahuku Unit, Mokupapapa Discovery Center and Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo, the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village, the Port of Hilo, and Hilo International Airport (ITO). Wednesday through Sunday from 9am-3pm, HAVO’s Kahuku Unit offers such programs as Ike Hana Noeau Hawaiian Cultural Practice Sessions, Orientation Talks, and Paths/Trails Guided Hikes.

Some of the best viewing options are with professional tour guides.

Enjoy awesome views via air, ground, and ocean tours.

Kilauea hasn’t put on a show like this since 1983. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Check out the Instagram feeds for Paradise Helicopters, Epic Lava and Lava Ocean Tours for some spectacular videos and images of the most recent activity.


Kilauea doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, but Pele is unpredictable. The eruption is an ongoing phenomenon that’s lasted 30 years. It’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world. However, the lava flows can come to a stop just as quickly as they started.


You can thank Madame Pele for having a hand in creating our Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffees!

The porous, mineral-rich volcanic soil, perfect latitude, altitude and perfect climate/weather conditions on the Big Island of Hawaii all combine to create the perfect environment to grow everything from macadamia nuts to vanilla and chocolate. But it’s especially ideal for growing the world’s best coffee.

Recovery efforts for those affected

At the same time new land is created, houses, neighborhoods, and even scenic bays have been lost to the current flow of lava. This unpredictability of Madame Pele is something that many residents of the area surrounding Kilauea know they have no control over. While this is the nature of living near an active volcano, it’s also in our nature as a community to kokua (help) those in need.

The Hawaii Community Foundation has established a Volcano Recovery Fund to assist with recovery efforts in support of Hawaii Island communities affected by the Kilauea volcano eruption. Visit the Hawaii Community Foundation for more details.

We hope you enjoyed our little taste of Aloha! If you ever have any questions or story ideas, please e-mail us at [email protected]!


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