(BIVN) – Spectacular, but destructive, lava fountains were active in the northeast section of Leilani Estates on Wednesday. The fissures were producing huge ponds of lava and feeding flows that were covering roads in the Puna subdivision.
“You just don’t know what to expect from one day to the next,” said Leilani Estates resident Jim Carpenter. “Yesterday, it was two small fountains of lava just shooting up, and one smaller one…. and then you come down here today and it’s like – I can’t even tell you how how high that [fountain is] getting into the air but it’s got to be, what, 300 feet?”
Major Jeff Hickman of the Hawaii National Guard led the media out to record the activity.
“We just saw a phenomenal fountain at the end of Kahukai Street. It’s the end now because the lava rolled across it, wiping out the entire northeast section of Leilani Estates,” Hickman said, who said the fountains were coming from fissures 6, 19, and 22. “The fissures now are all just rolling into one another and they’re shooting hundreds of feet in the air. They intersected with Pohoiki and that intersection is is no longer there. That’s gone. It’s covered with lava.”
“If you turn to the right, that was the edge of Leilani Estates,” Hickman continued, “there’s a couple streets that came off of it, all gone. And right now, it’s all a lava lake. The closest residence from the edge of the lava was within 75 feet of the edge of the lava.”
According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Thursday at 8:12 a.m. HST:
The middle portion of the fissure system (centered on Pohoiki Rd.) continues to produce the most robust eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone. Overnight, field crews observed that fissure areas 2, 7, 8 and 3, 14, 21 (between Luana and Kaupili St. in Leilani Estates) reactivated and are spattering. Intermittent signals recorded on sensors closest to the two ocean entries suggest they remain active.