Non-stop Eruption June 11, 2018

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June 11, 2018 Non-stop Eruption – Fissure 8 continues to be the story of Kilauea’s current eruption… it’s really the only active vent of Kilauea’s Leilani Estates eruption, now in it’s sixth 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 in gigantic rivers toward the Pacific Ocean. For the time being, she has slowed her destructive bent… burning only a handful of homes and other structures in the past few days. In the wake of her biggest destructive days in modern history, Pele is now creating new land off the Eastern coast of the Big Island. The eruption began just five and a half weeks ago in the lower part of Leilani Estates. More than two dozen fissures have oozed or jetted lava over the past five weeks… the activity finally settling down at Fissure #8. Pele is resurfacing the island, burning homes, destroying roads, and interrupting lives… and now, she pours her molten mass into the Pacific Ocean, creating the newest land on earth! Earlier this week, Pele incinerated nearly 300 homes and structures in the Vacationland/Kapoho Beach Lots communities of lower Puna, and according to Big Island Mayor, Harry Kim, has now consumed over 600 structures over the past five weeks. Big Island residents are in shock today, mourning the loss of not one, but both of these spectacular beach communities to the ongoing lava flow which began in early May. And the eruption is obviously far from over… Fissure #8 is feeding a huge river of lava, much of which is being stored in a “perched pond” at the bottom of the subdivision… the balance of which is sent downslope and into the ocean. For the moment, the lava is somewhat contained… but if the wall of the pond is breached, enormous flows could threaten several more places in East Hawaii. The huge plume rising from the ocean entry at what was once Vacationland abated yesterday, but was back in smaller form today… lava was seen entering the water, and new land is slowly forming off the eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Several small overflows from the perched pond send a rivulets of molten rock over the banks of the lava river… notably one moving in the direction of the PGV geothermal plant. Several others were in evidence, but none seemed poised to go very far. We’ll learn more in the morning. Mahalo to Paradise Helicopters, who make this all possible. The estimable Pete Stachowicz guided us expertly over the enormous eruption… Leilani, Hula Ducky (for King Kamehameha Day), Special Guest Michael Lienau, Bruce Omori and I had a most excellent charter! Mahalo plenny, Pete!

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