Friday, October 23, 2009

Excitement at Lava Viewing Area

Photos above show lava moving through forests at the edge of highway 130 within the Civil Defense Viewing area, Kalapana: top photo by Ron Boyle, and the 2nd one by me.

As I wrote about in yesterday’s posting, surface flows of lava were moving closer to the viewing area and the terminus of highway 130; where previous lava flows cut the old highway off. Yesterday afternoon and into the evening moving molten pahoehoe lava came right to the edge of the last remnant of paved highway: trees were bursting into huge flare-ups of flame and brush crackling on fire beneath. Red-hot lava oozed in all directions.

Civil Defense in charge of visitors flocking out to see the ocean entry lava surprised us all by allowing people to walk down the last paved portion of 130 and get a close up look at molten lava and burning forests.

As the evening progressed, geologist, volcanologists, Hawaii Volcanoes Park personal, University of Hilo professors and locals were arriving in droves to witness such safe & easy access to active lava. It has been nearly a year and a half since the last opportunity.

I also made it out to see this and took a few photos, which I added a couple shots of above and will post more of in the days to come.

Meanwhile Hawaii remains under a Tropical Storm Warning from Tropical Storm Neki, which is fragmenting just north of Kauai and sending a few thunderstorms in the vicinity.

At around 11:40 PM last night the Loihi Seamount just south of the Big Island released a 4.1 earthquake that was felt in parts of the island.

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