May 23 – Beware of Falling Rock

I’m still wondering, and there’s absolutely no way to know: will this follow the pattern of the 1955 Kapoho eruption in whose footsteps it’s following? (Same general area, and in fact for the first two weeks that slow-moving lava coming out was mostly 1955’s leftovers.)

“The [Kapoho] eruption lasted for 88 days and opened at least 24 separate vents that stretched nine miles from Kapoho to west of the Pāhoa-Kalapana road. Numerous lava flows cut all access to lower Puna covering over six miles of public roads. The eruption required the evacuation of most coastline residents from Kapoho to Kalapana for an extended period.”—USGS

A few months is a major disruption to daily life, but that’s really not too long before residents can start picking up the pieces.

Here’s the thing. This lava came down the East Rift Zone after the bottom of Pu’u O’o Crater collapsed and all its lava drained away. And that unusually long-lasting eruption had been going since 1983. If this is the same magma from the same source, just emerging from a different location, it could go for years.

P.S.. from the HVO website: “Kilauea – 2018-05-23 04:37:34
Another small summit explosion at 10:18 UTC / 00:18 HST 23 May.” Every night, another poof or two. I feel for the people downwind; while ash isn’t as destructive as lava, it’s still disruptive, bad for plants and machinery, and especially hard on people with respiratory issues.