It sounds scarier than it was, being hit by lava. It wasn’t liquid when it hit me, it cooled as it was going through the air, so it was a very hot rock when it hit my shoulder, and it actually melted a portion of my vest, but it didn’t burn me or seep through or anything like that. At first I thought it did, so I panicked for a minute, until I noticed that it didn’t go through my shirt. The reporters around me were checking their hair and clothes after they heard the lava hit me. And I still have the vest with the lava burn in it, it’s my lucky vest now!
There were definitely breaks in the 3 month timeframe. I left the island and came back, so it wasn’t a straight 3 months, and some of my reporting was done from afar, but not up close. But I covered the story from beginning to end. We didn’t know when the volcano was dying down. It just stopped one day, and at that point, we were waiting to see if it would start again. It had started and stopped before, but this time it just didn’t start again.
Being able to livestream from that house was an opportunity nobody else had. We had prime viewing of the eruption for a couple of weeks. We had a house with power and internet, so we were able to livestream, sleep on their couches, and the owners had evacuated, so we had the place to ourselves, and they wanted us to keep an eye on their house to make sure looters didn’t come in, and make them aware if lava was approaching their house at any time! So we were doing 2 things, covering the news and helping the homeowners. Eventually the one road we had access to was cut off by lava, so we couldn’t get back, and eventually the house burned down in a wildfire ignited by the lava. Fortunately nobody was in it when it burned down, but the homeowners lost their house. I did a number of interviews with CNN and the Weather Channel, talking about my experience. I did an interview with ABC in Australia. And you can see those on the Videos section on my website.