Hawaii Volcano Coverage: Following the Fire

By Howard Dashefsky
News Anchor, Reporter, KHON Honolulu
Special to Off Camera

For me, covering the volcano has always been an amazing experience.

Reporter Ben Gutierrez and Photographer Peter Tang. Photo courtesy Scott Humber

Understanding the destructive nature and the human toll Pele takes, it’s impossible not to marvel at the power and at the beauty and strength of the lava. Beyond that, there is something almost prehistoric about it, in that you’re watching Earth create itself right in front of your eyes. All that said, the dangers are very real — a point driven home when civil defense and fire officials warned on numerous occasions that people are “entering this area at your own risk.”

Photographer Jon Suyat at Halema’uma’u Crater.

I did wear a mask eventually, thanks to the Leilani Estates resident we were traveling with. However, I could tell pretty quickly it was old and that the filters had probably outlived their useful life and provided little, if any, help. But I figured something was better than nothing. And I will say when we drove over the first crack and inhaled some of those fumes, they burned both the lungs and the eyes. The dangers are very real and no doubt scary. But having an opportunity to witness history with the volcano is always worth it.  At least for me.

Photo courtesy Howard Dashefsky

Howard Dashefsky is a news anchor and reporter with KHON in Honolulu.

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