Big Island lookout busy with good views of molten rock
April 29, 2010 – Video by David Corrigan, voice of Tim Bryan
The lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues to creep towards the county viewing area in Kalapana.
The advancing surface flow has been burning the forested kipukas just north of the county viewing area. In fact, the advancing lava is coming so close to the location, that officials have already had to alter the layout of the popular spot for the safety of the visitors.
Enthusiasts are hoping the lava will reach the shore, and reignite the lava ocean entry that has been dormant for a few months. Those who visit the lava flow on a daily basis believe the molten rock may reach the ocean at any day now.
According to the most recent USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report:
Lava from the east rift zone vent flowed through a lava tube system to supply surface flows advancing slowly down the Pulama pali east of the Royal Gardens subdivision and across the coastal plain. The dominant flow advanced to 20 m (66 ft) west of the current Viewing Area (former trailhead) Tuesday before turning toward the coast;yesterday, the front had advanced about 300 m (1,000 ft) southward toward the ocean; the active flow front was about halfway between highway 130 and the coast. GOES-WEST satellite imagery confirms that the flows remained active through dawn. HVO scientists will visit the area this morning to assess current conditions.
Meanwhile, the viewing area has been a beehive of tourist activity, as locals join tourists in an attempt to see the lava without having to hike too far. When this video was shot a few nights ago, the lava was only about a hundred yards from the trailhead.