Overflight Video: Lava Rips Lower Leilani
Videographer Mick Kalber went up with Paradise Helicopters on Monday, May 28, 2018, for a tour of the East Rift Zone.
Lava from Kīlauea Volcano’s current Leilani Estates Flow on the Big Island of Hawaii poured into lower Leilani Estates overnight… Pele’s hot rock consuming dozens of homes and other structures in her path. She entered part of the Puna Geothermal Ventures plant just east of the subdivision, covering at least one well.
Officials have been concerned about what would happen when the lava reached the wells, which have been cooled and capped, but so far there has been no release of toxic gas. But she continues to pour her molten rock into the bottom of the community, pooling into a 3/4 mile diameter, circular flow front, which is grinding it’s way through the forest and over homes, having crossed Pohoiki Road early this morning.
Lava may very well reach Highway 132… the route to Kapoho later today. Hot rock is still just barely entering the ocean just southwest of Pohoiki… flows headed in that direction have now stalled. Nearly all the activity, and it is enormous, is now concentrated within, and just below Leilani Estates. Fissure seven is actually 5 fissures, jetting red hot liquid rock from 100-300 feet high at an unbelievable rate.
Kīlauea has now covered well over 2500 acres of the Big Island in just the past three weeks! Pele continues working her way up the rift… a new fissure that opened up between Nohea and Kupono is now feeding the fissure seven flow. Another fissure, number 25 at Kupono, appears to have stalled. Huge cracks have appeared on the Malama side of Pomaikai. Scientists project an eruption in that area soon.
Much of the activity elsewhere on the flow field has somewhat given way to the gigantic fissure seven, which is truly a spectacular sight! Numerous fingers of lava have stretched toward the sea over the past several days, covering many properties, and destroying dozens of homes… sliding past other homes, leaving their owners wondering what’s next. Although it began in Leilani on May 3rd, and burned several homes there, she soon established her vents below the subdivision with towering fountains, spatter cones feeding gigantic lava flows… now she has returned to Leilani. So far, no deaths have been reported.
Pohoiki Road and Highway 137 have both been covered with lava, but Highways 130 and 132 are still open, at least temporarily. More tomorrow!