Volcano news & updates: Kilauea volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Kilauea volcano update: Lava advances parallel to farms
Saturday Sep 06, 2014 04:54 AM | BY: PO
Lava flows continue to advance downhill through the jungle on a path that will miss Kaohe Homesteads, having first entered and overtopped several large ground cracks on Kilauea volcano's east rift zone. The farthest lava front is now 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, and moving northeast parallel to the boundary.
Most recent flow map; blue lines are predicted flow directions from topography.
The latest map issued shows 3 large flows moving away from the cracks, whose path will take them downhill parallel to the Forest Reserve boundary and the threatened community of Kaohe Homesteads. Issued maps for the first time have blue lines indicating probably flow direction based on topography, showing that without any major changes the current flow will advance around Kaohe and if it continues long enough, cross the highway just north of Pahoa.
The question still remains whether these spill-overs can take the whole volume of lava erupted by the volcano, or whether lava finds its way into other large cracks which can funnel it closer to the inhabited zone. After that, the major question is how long the pipeline feeding the flow can remain stable. Will it be just one more month like the Kahaualea 1 flow ending in April 2013, or a full year like the Kahaualea 2 flow which ended in June 2014? For now, the closest communities are still safe but the highway appears under threat and there are other communities beyond.
Within the last 24 hours, the Volcano Observatory has upgraded Kilauea's status from a watch to a warning, Civil Defense has closed the threatened neighborhood to non-residents, the Mayor has declared a state of emergency, and most recently the Governor has issued an emergency proclamation, setting the stage for possible evacuations and construction of an alternate route into the district should the highway be cut off by lava. The warnings indicate that authorities believe lava may enter the community within 5 to 7 days, but that will be a conservative guess and for now the lava flow continues to flow parallel, but away from the community through undeveloped land.
There has been media coverage over the lava diversion debate: can and should the authorities divert the lava flow? In today's world of liability, it'll never happen. But if you're a resident downhill from the lava, you might be inclined to ask anyways... and you would be reprimanded by other locals who see the lava as an extension of the goddess Pele. Perhaps the real story there is that Hawaiian culture is alive and well!
We continue to keep our thoughts with the 30-40 residences under threat as we report on further developments.
Thursday, Sep 04, 2014
According to officials, the June 27th lava flow has reemerged for the second time from a huge ground crack along Kilauea's east rift zone, this time approximately 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, but still continues moving through the ground crack to within 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the boundary. ... read all
Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
The June 27 lava flow remains active and is now only approx. 2 km from the nearest inhabited area. Its farthest front had been spreading in the forest over the past few days and was seen to be spilling into yet another ground crack about 12.6 km (~7.8 miles) from the vent and about 1.9 km (~1.2 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. ... read all
Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014
The lava flow branch that entered and followed a deep ground crack on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone last week has resurfaced and is now forming a small lava island inside the forest. Its farthest point is 11.4 km (7.1 miles) from the the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 3.1 km (1.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. ... read all
Monday, Jul 28, 2014
A piece of the crater walls of the Halema'uma'u lava lake collapsed on 23 July and triggered a small explosive eruption. Liquid spatter was ejected to the outer perimeter of the pit crater (including webcam position and the closed observation area) and an ash plume was generated. read all
Tuesday, Jul 01, 2014
The new June 27 lava flows continue to be very active, at expense of the previously active Kahaualeʻa 2 flow which seems to have stopped being active. read all