Evening Lava report, Monday, 19:00

Chopper 1 was there three times today.  The last time for over an hour, so the flow must have started a fire.  When I looked, there were pictures:

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-832.jpg

You can click and enlarge them.  The thermal photo is pretty interesting.  The black spot near the top of it is where the flow stopped last week.  The interesting part is that it isn’t ‘leaking’.  The lava is coming on pretty strongly and it is absolutely possible that if the magma reserve doesn’t go down, it won’t stop. But at this point the front is only about 230 feet wide. That’s not a disaster by any means.  Normal power poles are further apart than that.  The BIG power poles out on the highway are further apart yet.  A temporary bridge like the one up the Hamakua coast could easily span it.  Water is distributed from both sides of Pahoa for people on county water.  The rest of us are on catchment. No cell towers are threatened.  It will be merely an inconvenience for a little while.

At the newest speed calculated by someone, not me, it could cross cemetary road in about two weeks.  It is still possible for it to stop, or to veer off to the northeast…but in THIS picture, there are white-hot spots at the front of the flow.

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-833.jpg

It won’t stop as long as it is being fed magma that hot.  It has one mile to go to the dump road and about 1.7 to Old Government Road.

Morning Lava report, Monday, 10:30

Good news and bad news.  The flow is speeding up.  It has advanced ~600 yards since last Wednesday and is now moving at about 15 feet per hour. At it’s present speed and direction, it could cut Cemetary Road in just over two weeks.

The deflation is continuing at the vent, so it might well stop again – but you never know for sure. My little red dot yesterday was exactly correct, within feet. That spot has now been covered by the advance.

Helicopters are coming from all over.  I just saw one from Maui and there have been a couple of local flights this morning already.  There is at least one fixed-wing up right now. People are getting interested.

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-830.jpg

The FAA restriction for non-relief flights over the lava flow area continues.

Chopper 1 is surveying the flow at 13:20.