Friday, May 7, 2010

Surface and ocean entry lava continue – Not much to see for public viewing

(Ocean Entry Pre-dawn)

Molten pahoehoe continues being fed from the eruption site high above the coastal Pulama pali. A large area of hot lava fields continue to expand randomly on all sides of the resent April flow, including swelling and some small oozing breakouts near the now lava-covered trailhead viewing area, and flowing into the sea a half mile further south.

As of 8:30 AM this morning there were no active breakouts on the pavement of highway 130. However, active breakouts were taking pace only a hundred feet away. Those breakouts would not would not been visible to the public from the present cordoned off “viewing area” the Civil Defense ordered to be put in place at the end of the road yesterday, but might possibly be visible later tonight.

… Which brings me to the public viewing situation…

… Because of Wednesdays surprise repaving by Pele at the terminus of highway 130, those in charge of pubic management rearranged all aspects of not only public viewing but of road access into Kalapana Gardens homesteads leading west on 130. Simply put, all but local resident traffic was halted over a mile away from the newly lava-covered 130. It was there that the 1200+ visitors arriving to see lava were stopped and told to park. They were instructed by Jan-Guard security, who have been managing the site under contract from Hawaii County since March, that to go see the new lava they had to walk that mile+ and back. Add to that these molten-lava-hungry throngs that did make the trek westward down the road would find no active lava at all on the other end; it had since cooled and even after dark was not glowing much… to make it worse, people were not allowed closer than about 100-feet and kept behind barricades.

The photo below is pretty much what they saw, minus the red-orange molten lava and fumes - and would not have looked much better in the dark...

Many of the trekkers returned to the makeshift roadside parking lot rather pissed off, sweating and near heat exhaustion in some cases.

I expect that not much will have changed by tonight as to seeing any active lava in the managed areas or during their opening hours. Hopefully those calling the shots will soon allow the traffic to go all the way to the end of 130 where there is ample parking, safe viewing of the still cooling roads-end lava mass; and a possibility that some new (safe & slow-moving) pahoehoe might be witnessed by those traveling long distances hoping to be close to a little patch of warm lava… Let them see, smell and feel it!

Go check out Halema’uma’u crater glowing brightly at night from the Jaggar Museum overlook balcony.

No comments:

Post a Comment