These are pictures of an 1890's earthen dam that broke this week on the North Shore of Kauai. They were taken by Jack Harter. You can see more photos here.
A friend of mine is studying in Kauai this year and she only lives about a mile from this dam. She and her host family are all ok, thankfully! In a brief chat with her this morning, I found myself wondering about the intensity of devastation. Hundreds upon hundreds of people have been killed in recent disasters - natural and un. In contrast to some of the most notable catastrophes, the Kilauea Dam break seems mild enough so as to be insignificant...but is it? Only a few lives were lost, only a few homes destroyed. Yet the damaged community is very small and very close knit; almost everyone left to live in the wake of this dam break has suffered personal loss. How much more traumatic is the healing process when the entire community is grieving? I can't imagine. I've known all along this would be a year my friend will never forget...I just hadn't considered all the possibilities of paradise.