Lava Flow Moves Towards Subdivision

Below are news excerpts from Big Island lava flow updates.

Summary: Kilauea’s lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii changed direction in the fall of 2007, shifting towards the south east of its previous track. Instead of the southerly flow from the Pu’u O’o vent with some surface flows and a dominant ocean entry, the lava flow shifted east of Pu’u O’o in the direction of the nearly abandoned Royal Gardens Subdivision. The lava was in a virtual stalemate until 1/11/08 when it began to flow in a “threatening” manner directly towards that subdivision. When a long, relatively fast lava flow headed toward Royal Gardens subdivision on Jan 11th, a radio announcement by Hawaii County Civil Defense called it a “threat.”

1/12/08 Update
A lava flow on the Big Island has stalled about one-half mile from a mostly abandoned subdivision. But it still threatens one remaining resident. The lava pouring from Kilauea Volcano was expected to reach the Royal Gardens subdivision late Thursday night or early yesterday. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory the flow now threatens only the upper part of the subdivision, which has one permanent resident. The observatory’s Web site says Hawaii County Civil Defense is dealing with the threat. Over the years, lava from the eruption that began in 1983 has inundated the subdivision, which originally had more than 1,800 lots. [source -]

1/11/08 Update
Lava broke out of a holding pattern on Kilauea’s East Rift and headed downslope yesterday toward the only two inhabited houses anywhere around, three miles to the southeast in Royal Gardens.

The only two people living in the remnants of the subdivision overrun by lava many times before, two bachelors, shrugged it off.

“I’ll get worried when I feel the heat,” said bed-and-breakfast owner Jack Thompson.
Dean Schneider, who lives a half-mile away in the sprawling, mostly abandoned subdivision, declined an offer of help from a Hawaii County Fire Department helicopter.
Geologist Tim Orr said the lava could follow a natural contour and miss both houses.

Read the full Honolulu Bulletin article here.

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