Will lava take Ahalanui?

  • U.S. Geological Survey photo Fissure No. 8 in Kilauea volcano's lower East Rift Zone is seen in a flyover photo taken Sunday.

It appears the lava flow front in lower Puna could soon find its way to Ahalanui Beach Park, also known as “Warm Ponds.”

Janet Snyder, spokeswoman for Mayor Harry Kim, said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua expressed surprise in Monday morning’s briefing of emergency workers at how far the flow front has moved.

Snyder said Kauahikaua reported the flow front has advanced between 800 and 900 meters in the past five days and is now 1,200 meters (about three-fourths of a mile) from Ahalanui. She said Kauahikaua estimated that if the flow continues on its present path at its present pace, the lava could reach the iconic park within a week.

Fissure No. 8 continues to produce lava with the vent channel and ocean entry going strongly. Fissure No. 22 was described as weakly active.

The official tally of houses destroyed by lava is now at 637, Snyder said. That number is of homes confirmed by aerial photography to be taken by lava when compared to tax maps. The actual number of homes destroyed is larger and the count continues.

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