HAWAII VOLCANO ERUPTION UPDATE
Volcano, Hawai’i’s Big Island (March 28, 2008) – The exciting volcanic activity continues to evolve in Halema’uma’u crater at the summit of KÃ®lauea volcano on Hawai’i Island.Â Meanwhile, miles away, molten lava is flowing into the sea, providing stunning panoramas for lucky visitors.
At the summit, the dramatic plume of gas and steam that has been gushing from a vent in the crater wall since March 11 has turned from fluffy white to dusky brown. That’s because the mile-high plume now contains ash.
This activity follows on the heels of the small March 19 gas explosion in the crater wall that threw rock over the top of the rim onto a parking lot, which was already closed because it was downwind of the sulfuric plume. This marked the first explosive eruption at KÃ®lauea’s summit since 1924, and the first eruption in the crater since 1982.
Meanwhile, down on the coastal part of the Puna District, flows of molten lava from KÃ®lauea are still oozing overland and into the ocean. The county has set up a viewing area at the end of Highway 130. It’s currently open from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. with the last car permitted into the parking area at 8 p.m.
At press time, able-bodied visitors can expect a walk of 40 minutes, or possibly more, from their car to the viewing site. The route crosses some pavement, and meanders across a plain of smooth yet uneven hardenedpÃ¢hoehoe lava. It all depends on where the flows are going that day. Sturdy walking shoes are a must, as are long pants, sunscreen, a flashlight and at least two quarts of water per person. It’s a bit of an effort, but if the lava is flowing, the sight will be worth every step.
The Big Island Visitors Bureau has launched a new user-friendly volcano eruption update page on itsÂ www.bigisland.org website,www.bigisland.org/volcanoupdate. Visitors are able to download a safe lava-viewing PDF from the site.
For the latest eruption updates and Hawai’i volcanoes information, visit the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory site,http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov
For additional eruption updates, call Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park at (808) 985-6000 or visitÂ www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm.
For additional information on conditions at the Kalapana lava view area, call the Hawai’i County Civil Defense lava hotline at (808) 961-8093, or visitwww.lavainfo.us