Prayers? Bombs? Hawaii history shows stopping lava not easy – Thelocalreport.in

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HONOLULU (AP) — Prayer. Bombs. walls. Over the decades, people have tried all of them to stanch the flow of lava from Hawaii’s volcanoes as it lumbered towards roads, homes and infrastructure.

Now Mauna Loa — the world’s largest active volcano — is erupting againand lava is slowly approaching a major thoroughfare connecting the Big Island’s east and west sides. And once more, people are asking if anything can be done to stop or divert the flow.

“It comes up every time there’s an eruption and there’s lava heading toward inhabited areas or highways. Some people say ‘Build a wall’ or ‘Board up’ and other people say, ‘No don’t!,’” said Scott Rowland, a geologist at the University of Hawaii.

Humans have rarely had much success stopping lava and, despite the world’s technological advances, doing so is still difficult and dependent on the force of the flow and the terrain. But many in Hawaii also question the wisdom of interfering with nature and Pele, the Hawaiian deity of volcanoes and fire.

Attempts to divert lava have a long history in Hawaii.

In 1881, the governor of Hawaii Island declared a day of prayer to stop lava from Mauna Loa as it headed for Hilo. The lava kept coming.

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