The goddess of fire is alive and well on Hawaii’s Big Island, where two of the most famous volcanoes in the world are erupting at the same time.
An auspicious and spiritual tone has struck the island as the glow of the lava oozing from Mauna Loa, the largest volcano in the world, and Kilauea, one of the most active volcanos in the world, ignites the landscape of Hawaii’s Big Island, a sign that Pele, the Polynesian goddess of fire, is blessing the land, experts told ABC News.
“She’s quite an elemental force,” Jessica Ferracane, public affairs specialist for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, told ABC News.
Locals and tourists alike have been flocking to the best spots on the island to take in the views of the red-hot lava slowly bubbling from the crater of the volcanoes, including along Daniel K. Inouye Highway — known colloquially as Saddle Road — the main route people use to commute from east to west on the island, and the famed Hawaii Volcanos National Park, where visitors can see the simultaneous eruptions from some areas, Ferracane said.
“Some people come to the park not realizing they’re [coming] through eruptions happening,” Ferracane. “And then when they discover that, it’s a pretty special experience.”
he excitement on the island is palpable and it’s bringing people together, especially since Mauna Loa has not erupted since 1984, Elizabeth Fien, president and CEO of Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, told ABC News. This is the time of year when Kilauea is most active, so the tourists who had planned around that regular event received an unexpected treat of the Mauna Loa eruption as well, Ferracane said.
One of the reasons why the double eruption is so unique is because the volcanoes are fed by different magma or “plumbing” systems, and neither eruption is sparked by the other, Ferracane added.