It’s been nearly two months since the first eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano began in the Leiani Estates subdivision on Thursday, May 3 (1). The lava from the Kilauea volcano was relentless and has destroyed an estimated 600 to 700 homes to date (2). The damage caused by the volcanic eruption was so severe that residents of the area had to leave or risk getting arrested (3). Although the Kilauea volcano caused a lot of mass destruction, that’s not all it did – it also caused beautiful green gemstones to form (4).
Green Gemstones Rising From the Ashes
The green gemstones people are finding at the volcano site are actually a common mineral known as olivine and its chemical makeup consists of magnesium iron silicate (4). These gems formed through the magma of the volcanic eruption, which was sprayed high into the air allowing the high crystallization temperatures of magnesium iron silicates to transform into olivine stones (4).
It is pretty rare to find olivine in a form that jewellers would classify as a gem, but residents of the Aloha State aren’t having much trouble doing so (4). They have been finding decent-sized crystals amid the rocks and ash left over from the eruption (4). Many locals think these beautiful gems are an “apology” from Pele, an ancient fire goddess in Hawaiian folklore, for the destruction and havoc her volcano has caused (4,5).
What You Can Do To Help
Even though these beautiful gemstones have provided some joy to Hawaii’s residents, they are still dealing with the devastating aftermath of the volcano and need help. Several dozens of people have been left completely homeless as a result of the eruption and an estimated 2,500 people have been displaced (6,7). Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim highlighted the severity of the situation, stating, “If you combine the three of them (Kapoho, Vacationland and Leilani), we’re talking about 600 homes. I’m talking about 600 families. Don’t forget the farmers, don’t forget the ranchers, don’t forget all the employees for them.” (7).
(1) Andone, D. (2018, May 31). It’s been 4 weeks since the first volcanic eruption in Hawaii and the lava is still flowing. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/31/us/hawaii-volcano-eruption/index.html
(2) Hughes, T. (2017, June 12). Lava from Hawaii volcano destroys up to 700 homes, and there’s no end in sight. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/12/hawaii-volcano-lava-destroys-700-homes/693719002/
(3) Vera, A. (2018, June 2). Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano eruption has now destroyed more than 80 homes. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/02/us/hawaii-kilauea-volcano/index.html
(4) McRae, M. (2017, June 14). Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Is Literally Raining Gemstones, And We Want Some. Retrieved from https://www.sciencealert.com/hawaii-kilauea-volcano-olivine-peridot-gems-recent-eruptions
(5) Warren, S. (2018, June 17). Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Is Now Raining Green Gemstones. Retrieved from http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/june/hawaiis-kilauea-volcano-is-now-raining-green-gemstones-nbsp
(6) Lyons, J.D. (2018, May 7). How To Help Hawaiians Near the Volcano That’s Erupting – From Wherever You Are. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-help-hawaiians-near-the-volcano-thats-erupting-from-wherever-you-are-9005290
(7) Mackie, T. (2018, June 10). Hawaii volcano ERUPTION: Hawaiians build houses after hundreds left HOMELESS. Retrieved from https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/972032/hawaii-volcano-eruption-hawaiians-build-houses-homeless-mount-kilauea-latest-us-lava
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