On Saturday, November 27, 2010, Madam Pele took another house for her own. It was captured on video. Lava had already destroyed the Royal Gardens subdivision in Kalapana Hawai’i, and the lava has continued to claim homes to this day. The latest was last Saturday. At the end of this post is a link to Hawaii News Now with pictures and video.
From the USGS site, which shows maps, images and the latest news on the Volcano’s activity.
The bright red section of the map show the current lava flow as it enters the subdivision and eventually to the ocean.
Kalapana is located on the eastern side of the Big Island of Hawai’i in the southern most part of the Puna district. It is very lush and green with dense forests of ‘Ohia Lehua trees and jungles of huge Albizia, Sandlewood, and Eucalyptus trees.
We are only about 20 miles from this site where the lava enters the ocean and the Pu’u ‘Ō ‘ō crater. This lava flow has been flowing since 1982. In the graphic above, it shows the timeline where previous eruptions have occurred.
The subdivision where we live in is located in the in upper corner of the graphic where the date and color key is located. As you can see the fingers of the lava have had an easterly flow, and this is a major concern to residents in the area. During the last big eruption when the lava flow increased into the Kalapana subdivision, you could see the ominous red glow of the lava in the night sky. Just eerie.
This enhanced aerial photo from the USGS site shows the relative area where the lava flow and Kalapana subdivision is located. The lava eventually reaches the ocean where great plumes of steam rise. There is a public viewing area where you can see the lava from a safe distance.
As the lava slowly approaches the home that was destroyed, the owner takes the event in stride. There’s really nothing anyone can do short of moving the house. Eventually the lava reaches the house and it burns down.
Click on the picture above to see pictures and two videos on this tragic event. The first video is raw footage of the lava approaching through the forest. It doesn’t happen right away, it took several days for the lava to reach the homeowners house. During that time, the homeowner goes about his daily life. It has to be surreal.