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Overflight Video: ‘Enormous Rivers of Lava’

June 14, 2018, 8:00 AM HST
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Videographer Mick Kalber released this video of an overflight he took with Paradise Helicopters on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

June 13, 2018, Rivers of Lava FB from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Kalber stated:

Pretty much business as usual at the Leilani Estates eruption of Kīlauea Volcano. Fissure 8 continues to pump phenomenal amounts of lava into the system, feeding enormous rivers that transport the molten rock to the Pacific Ocean in Kapoho.

Fissure 8 is really the only active vent of Kīlauea’s Leilani Estates eruption. The other two dozen fissures are smoking, steaming and glowing, but not erupting, while Fissure 8, almost dead center in the middle of the beleaguered subdivision, continues to send 6 to 9 million cubic yards of lava a day flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.

For the time being, she [Pele, the volcano goddess] has slowed her destructive bent, most of her lava contained within the many channelized flows. Pele is now creating new land off the eastern coast of the Big Island.

The eruption began six weeks ago in the lower part of Leilani Estates.

More than two dozen fissures have oozed or jetted lava over the past six weeks. The activity finally settling down at Fissure 8.

Earlier last week, Pele incinerated nearly 300 homes and structures in the Vacationland/Kapoho Beach Lots communities of lower Puna, and although estimates vary, she has now consumed 600 to 700 structures or more.

The huge rivers of lava are mostly being stored in a “perched pond” at the bottom of the subdivision—what is not is sent downslope and into the ocean. Although scientists say they don’t believe it will happen, if the wall of the pond is breached, enormous flows could threaten several more places in East Hawai‘i.

The huge plume rising from the ocean entry at what was once Vacationland was enormous again today, indicating a great deal of lava was entering the water, and new land is slowly forming off the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Remarkably, even though nearly completely surrounded by previous lava flows, the Puna Geothermal Venture power plant still stands below the Leilani Estates subdivision. 

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