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Hawaii’s still very active Kilauea volcano sends lava flow into Kalapana

(Continued from previous page)

In the spring and summer of 2008, Kilauea volcano was making international headlines just about every week. In March of that year, Kilauea’s summit Halemaumau crater woke up from 84 years of slumber with a series of steam, ash and rock explosions that prompted two closures of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While that activity was continuing, the meeting of ocean water and underground lava flows from Puu Oo vent—active since 1983—was producing visually stunning explosions of rock, steam and ash off the Puna coastline.

We reported on all major activity at volcano through 2008 and 2009, as often as there was news from the geologists at Kilauea. And yes, Beth, HawaiiMagazine.com's last story on actual Kilauea activity was this one (with video) from October of last year. But as was made pretty obvious from this week’s news, Kilauea volcano is still very much active.

Composite of thermal and normal photographs showing current flow moving downslope on July 14. The county viewing area and junction of Highways 130 and 137 visible in the photo are now covered with lava. Photo: USGS

The steam and ash plume at the Halemaumau crater vent continues to rise from an ever-expanding crack in the crater floor. Lava still fills the Halemaumau vent, occasionally creating a sloshing lake of molten rock. On the Puna coastline, lava flows from Puu Oo vent also regularly pour into the sea at varying levels of voluminousness creating the newest land on earth—though much less explosively.

If you are on the Big Island this week and want to see the current flow near Kalapana, be advised that all access on Highway 130 to the head of the flow is being monitored and controlled by Big Island police and Civil Defense officials.

HawaiiMagazine.com will continue to monitor news from HVO on the Kalapana lava flow. Keep checking back in for updates.

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Visitors to get closer look at Kilauea volcano lava flow
Kilauea volcano lava flow destroys Kalapana home, reaches the ocean
Volcano Awareness Month continues as Kilauea lava nears another Kalapana home

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