At 5:48 AM this morning a seven hundred foot section of the active lava delta/bench ripped apart sending raw lava rock over 120-feet into the air, into the sea as well as back onto the lava bench.These episodes continued for about twenty minutes and the entire delta shook and thundered inside as the violent explosions ran from one end to the other and then back along the 700-foot section. I could not tell how much of the bench dropped into the sea because I was viewing it from inland looking out, but I think it was a jagged edge of maybe twenty feet wide or so.
Luckily no one was standing out on the bench trying to get a close look at the lava pouring in out there… Forty-five minutes later one lone man did walk out there briefly and then left… close call. Soon after that a small tour boat also came soaring right into the fumes and up very close to the flowing lava — Had they done that same maneuver 45-minutes earlier I am pretty sure the flying molten lava would have covered their boat.
I shot a few still images but mostly captured the excitement on movie clips in the pre-dawn light. For those that know of the old ulua-Fisherman’s road, I was taking these shots standing in the little parking area we used to be able to drive to until the access roads in were covered by lava in July.
All the current ocean entry action is on the west end of the growing lava bench, with the hottest part directly in front of the Fisherman’s road landing on the coast.The shot above shows the active pre-dawn breakouts, and some of the same area at sunrise below:
This morning: Below- Much of that west end of the bench continues to have surface breakouts that are working into the brush (shown above) and inflating as it progresses.
Meanwhile, back up by the end of the viewing area on the access road, the lava that has been flowing toward there these past two days has stalled about fifty feet from pavement and 400-feet from the new location of the viewing barricades… I do not understand why the barricades have been pulled so far away from this slow moving pahoehoe breakout…
If you are considering heading out to the end of highway 130 to view the ocean entry and surface flow, you might want to first phone the Jan Guard security personnel who will be right at the viewing area (after 2:00 PM) at 430-1966 and get the latest update on the lava action.