July 18, 2018 | Lava Close to Pohoiki (VIDEO)

July 18, 2018 Lava Close to Pohoiki from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Low lying clouds prevented our visit to Fissure 8 this morning… but there have been several reports of surges from the vent following earthquakes at the summit measuring over 5.0. We received a report of structures burning on Nohea Street in Leilani Estates due to an overflow, but were unable to pin down the exact location as of this writing. According to the USGS, the height of the Fissure 8 cone has dropped from around 180 feet to 120 feet… a seemingly significant difference, some of which may be due to portions of the cone settling and collapsing.
Waves of lava continue coursing out of the vent, sending hot liquid rock into the channel below, which feeds the ocean entries. The largest entry has been at Ahalanui, the scene of Monday’s littoral explosion, that injured at least a dozen passengers on a lava tour boat operated by Shane Turpin of Lava Ocean Tours. When the hot lava interacted with the cold seawater, it flashed into steam, causing an explosion sending hot rock several hundred feet into the air. The injured passengers aboard the Lava Ocean Tours boat on it’s early morning trip were taken to Hilo for medical treatment… one was medivaced to Oahu for additional treatment. That entry has slowed considerably, but is still pushing slowly toward Pohoiki. Of even more concern that this sluggish flow is another a’a flow about a half mile southeast of Kapoho Crater. Interestingly, it’s moving across the previous flow, which is still active… and is carrying an enormous amount of lava. Between that flow front and the ocean entry is yet another flow above Pohoiki, also bearing down on the treasured surf spots, boat ramp and hot pond. The situation looks dire for Pohoiki.
Leilani, Surfer Ducky, Special Return Guest Bryan Pezman, Bruce Omori and I were totally impressed with our Paradise Helicopters’ charter this morning! Mahalo pilot Rob Mitchell and Paradise Helicopters… can’t thank you enough for making this happen!!!


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