Lava flow closer, but still a distance from viewing area
Kalapana, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
Rivers of fire on the pali in Kalapana have been exciting visitors at the lava viewing area recently.
A period of inactivity at the location, normally regarded as the best spot on the Big Island (at least on land) to see lava up close, has put a damper on the nightly excitement around Puna’s southern lava wilderness. However, the recent activity has rekindled hope that a spectacular ocean entry may soon be thrilling tourists once again.
The most recent update from Hawaiian Volcano observatory geologists:
Lava from the east rift zone vent, flowing into a lava tube system, continued to supply surface flows that have advanced slowly to the southeast down the Pulama pali, east of the Royal Gardens subdivision. HVO geologists in the field yesterday, mapping the flow margin, reported that the flow front had reached the east margin of the older TEB flow field on the coastal plain, about 0.5 miles (750 meters) northwest of the County viewing area. HVO scientists will visit the flow field today to assess the current location of the flows. The ongoing deflation may reduce the lava supply and advancement rate over the next day.
On Friday, news of the advancing flow had already begun to attract a growing crowd. The fresh lava as still quite a distance away, however, as can be seen in this video.
The free Kalapana viewing area is now open three hours earlier – from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily – under the direction Jan Guard Hawaii, the private security firm contracted by the county. In order to give visitors a better view of the activity on the pali, Jan Guard has closed the trail to the inactive ocean entry, and has instead opened a path that overlooks the action spilling down the distant cliff.