As of July 12th, the USGS reports that the current Leilani eruption had covered 12.1 square miles of land. The lava delta had also added 655 acres of new land off the southeastern shore of the Big Island. The cone around Fissure 8 has slumped about 20 feet… but the vent is still issuing about the same amount of lava every day. Waves of lava roll out of the vent, sending a steady stream of hot liquid rock into the channel below, which feeds the ocean entries. The largest entry is still 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. That entry has slowed considerably, but we saw a littoral explosion there this morning. Pele is now pushing her way south… and has crossed about 2/3rds of “Bowls” on the northeast end. She is steadily pushing toward Isaac Hale Beach Park at Pohoiki, and may even be there this weekend. Even more lava is behind the current flow, making its way south and southwest… and is carrying an enormous amount of lava. Leilani, Beach Ball Ducky, Special Return Guest Leslie Gleim, Bruce Omori and I were saddened by the turn of events in lower Puna, but want to thank Paradise Helicopters for a fine charter this morning! Mahalo pilot Sean Regehr and Paradise… you guys really can’t be beat!!!