Resident resolves to stay, protect community for as long as possible during eruption

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Ikaika Marzo was born and raised in the lower Puna area of the Big Island.

His family lived through the Kalapana eruption in the late ’80s and ’90s, but he says this eruption was different.

He’s been in the thick of things all day, posting updates on social media about the historic eruption in Leilani Estates.

Several hours after the initial outburst, he says the earth continues to move.

“We’ve been feeling hard jolts and tremors still yet. Some of the activity has subsided already, but it’s not done. I don’t think it’s done yet,” Marzo said.

He has been driving around Leilani Estates all day, checking on residents to see if anyone needs help and warning people.

Just before 8 p.m., he said he was a block from Mohala Street and could still see energy and movement.

“There are still plumes going out. There’s a couple cracks that’s close by that still have steam coming out. That’s an indication that there could be eruption. There’s a lot of glow, a lot of fires,” he said.

Marzo said most residents have already evacuated despite their worry and the fear of the unknown.

The community still can’t believe this is actually happening.

“Disbelief. They didn’t know, didn’t ever think it was going to happen in Leilani Estates ever in my lifetime, ever in their lifetime. Everybody’s shocked, sad,” Marzo said.

He plans to stay in Leilani Estates until he is forced to leave. He wants to keep watch and prevent looting.

But he believes that Madame Pele has more in store for them.

“Be on alert because this lava flow could pop up anyplace on this rift zone,” he said.

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