UH's School of Oceanic and Earth Science and Technology (Or SOEST, which took fourth in the "worst acronym of 2003" awards) provides no more comfort: "[Hualalai's] summit is only 15km ( 9.3 miles!) away from the town of Kailua-Kona and a flow as voluminous as the 1800 eruption could cover that distance in a few hours."
A letter to WHT's editor from a local teacher, dated September 11(!), 2009, gives us even less time:
One volcanologist I spoke with told me, and he was clear that his statement to me had to be "off the record," that he would "bet my career" that Hualalai will erupt within the next 50 years. Hualalai is a time-bomb waiting to go off and the government has no plans at all to evacuate people from the area.
Civil Defense has no plans for an eruption; indeed, most people in Kona think the volcano is extinct. Due to her steep slopes it has been estimated that in the 1801 eruption lava from Hualalai went from summit to sea in only about two hours.Two hours? Imagine trying to evacuate any part of Kona in two hours. Our government unprepared and clueless? I'd say "run for the hills" but that's probably not the best advice.