Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hurricane Neki Still a Concern and Lava Burning Forest Near Viewing Area

At 10:00 PM last night I took the photo above from the trailhead leading to the 15-minute walk out to the Civil Defense lava viewing area. The left side orange glow is the plume where molten lava is entering the sea, on the right side is the glow produced by forest fires burning the west side of a narrow band of remnant forest kipuka close to the actual terminus of the original highway 130. And that is the planet Jupiter top-center. (Click on the photo for a larger view and see the stars :)

Continued movement of the molten lava in this area may threaten or close the viewing area trail, or possibly the visitor parking currently used; do to either the lava itself or the heavy smoke generated. Also, there is a sizable amount of surface lava moving down the pali further upslope as well. We have not seen active surface lava near the viewing area since July 2008. Civil Defense, State and County workers, who oversee the daily influx of visitors, as well as vendors and the visitors themselves, are all excited by this latest Pele display!

Meanwhile, portions of Hawaii and the Frigate Shoals remain on alert from the close proximity Hurricane Neki poses. For recent updates you can refresh this page: Central Pacific Hurricane Center - Hurricane NEKI .
And a related article from KGMB9 News: US Coast Guard Rescues Rescues 10 from French Frigate
All of Hawaii is under a Tropical Storm Warning as of this writing.

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