Thursday, May 6, 2010

All access to the end of highway 130 closed yesterday due to spreading lava fires – but may reopen today

Yesterday morning, Civil Defense (CD) had to close all access to the end of highway 130 and what used to be the viewing trail and area due to roadside vegetation and kipuka fires. They removed all their containers and information hut, relocating further east up the highway a mile or more.

I believe CD personnel are attempting to still have a public access today, but I am not sure what the public will have access to.

I did not make it down to the scene his morning as planned but I did speak with my friend Gary who has the closest home to the new lava break out that is mentioned on the news clip below. Gary tells me that the breakout has not proceeded too much further down highway 130, nor has it burned much of the adjacent kipuka at this time; this is good news for Gary and other nearby residents. Photographer Ron Boyle contributed the opening photo above, taken this morning.

I will be onsite tonight and write an update on Pele’s coastal activities tomorrow, mid-morning.

The stuff I shot yesterday at dawn made the local and national news (NBC) ; here is the local Hawaii News Now online story with my clips & stills, ( On that page the news video report is on upper right.(They sure know how to pump up a story!)

The night before last, at Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory’s Information center, I took in an informative talk with amazing video on undersea volcanoes. Dr. Stephen (Steve) Hammond, Chief Scientist of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, did the presentation.
The subject was on some spectacular submarine volcanoes (depths from about 500 m to 1600 m) that he and his colleagues have been discovering and studying in the western and south Pacific over the past five or six years.

For information on their work, including some amazing video of the deep ocean erupting volcanoes, check out their NOAA, Ocean Explorer website

Below is a photo I took of the Halema’uma’u crater after Dr. Hammond’s presentation Tuesday night. Steve and his lovely wife Dianne were standing next to me while I took this shot from the overlook balcony at Jaggar Museum; it was misting and beautiful there:

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