Big Island Lava Flow Threatens Homes

Excerpt from Honolulu Advertiser newspaper:

Lava flows advance, Hot rock moves amid forest

Far from the public eye, lava from Kilauea Volcano continued its creep toward civilization yesterday.

The eruption that began July 21 is supplying lava to a channel now almost a mile long on the northeast flank of the volcano, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
From the end of the channel, one flow of chunky aa lava has extended another mile and a half, while a second aa flow is advancing farther to the south, the USGS said on its Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Web site.

Scientists are watching for the flows to turn to smoother and faster-moving pahoehoe, which could signal a more imminent hazard to communities in the Puna district.

The flows, now in the Wao Kele o Puna rain forest, are heading downhill in the general direction of Kaohe Homesteads, Leilani Estates and Highway 130 but are at least seven miles away.

The observatory’s summary for hazards warns that although there are no immediate threats, “vent areas and lava channels are hazardous and conditions can change rapidly.”

Big Island authorities briefed Gov. Linda Lingle last week on the lava activity and now are focusing on keeping Puna residents alert to any potentially dangerous changes.


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