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Overflight Video: ‘Lava Channel Complete’

June 16, 2018, 7:25 PM HST
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Videographer Mick Kalber released this video of an overflight of the East Rift Zone he took with Paradise Helicopters on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

June 16, 2018 Lava Channel Complete from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

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Kalber stated:

Light variable winds over East Hawai‘i today once again brought horrible vog over most of the flow field this morning… even Hilo suffered the ill effects. The vog and clouds even prevented us from visiting Fissure 8 today.

From a distance, it looked like her Fissure 8 lava fountains were lower today, but she (Pele the fire goddess) continues to pump amazing amounts of lava into the system, feeding enormous rivers that transport the molten rock to the Pacific Ocean in Kapoho.

Of note is the fact that the a’a flow entering the ocean has now channelized from Kapoho crater thru what was once Vacationland, and all the way to the ocean. Tons of lava is entering the water there and a billowing plume emanates from the water’s surface. There are also large hot tide pools steaming in the flow field that filled Kapoho Bay… these “hot ponds” almost look inviting!

Homes on the north end of the Beach Lots are still in danger, although the lava seems to have stalled for the most part.

Fissure 8 is now really the only active vent of Kilauea’s Leilani Estates eruption, which is now in its seventh week. 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 6-9 million cubic yards of lava a day flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.

Pele is now creating new land off the Eastern coast of the Big Island. The ocean entry has gotten even larger… more than a half mile wide… and sending enormous rivers of lava plunging into the cool Pacific Ocean, releasing a steam cloud of laze drifting southward.

She is making a little progress toward the Ahalanui Hot Ponds two miles south, but not much… and is only creeping in and around the remaining houses of Kapoho Beach Lots and Ag lots to the north.

Nearly all of the lava is contained… channeled down a series of huge rivers from Fissure 8, through Leilani Estates and down the six miles to Kapoho.

The eruption began seven weeks ago in the lower part of Leilani Estates. More than two dozen fissures have oozed, spattered, or jetted lava over the past seven 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.

Lava that is not is sent downslope and into the ocean, is mostly being stored in a “perched pond” at the bottom of the subdivision. 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 ocean entry is again creating a huge plume of steam and laze (volcanic smog)… indicating a great deal of lava is 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 PGV geothermal plant still stands below the Leilani Estates subdivision.

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