Fissure Eight

Kāwahawalu

It’s a great name for the active fissure that continues to pour lava into the ocean from Leilani Estates. It literally means ‘Fissure Eight’.

Currently, Fissure eight splatter cone is over 180 feet high. To put that in perspective, Aloha Tower is 184 feet tall, that’s ten stories high. The eruption has destroyed over 600 homes since May 3, 2018.

There are Twenty-Four fissures that have opened up in Leilani Estates. Only one continues to erupting rivers of molten lava at an astonishing rate that swallowed several subdivisions in the Kapoho area in lower Puna district. All the fissures did erupt lava, but eventually either slowed or stopped. Only fissure eight continues to be very active. Fissure eight continues to flow lava that have reached the ocean. The amount of lava has created its own weather system. A deadly system that includes poisonous hydrogen-sulfide gas, clouds of LAZE.

Laze — a combination of the words lava and haze — is the product of a chemical reaction that happens when molten, 2,140-degree-Fahrenheit lava hits the ocean. The sea water gets boiled, creating a messy mix of hydrochloric acid, steam, and tiny glass particles.

Credit – Big Island Video News – USGS – Hawai’i County Civil Defense

While this is of great concern for residents of lower Puna, a greater concern is looming some 20 miles away at the Kilauea caldera. As the caldera continues to sink into the crater, there is a concern that the lava and the underground water-table will combine. If that happens, it will cause a huge explosion, with huge rocks projectiles as large as cars sent for miles. A plume of hydrochloric acid will ascend thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

Since the beginning of May, 2018, when the fissures appeared, the floor of the Kilauea caldera has been sinking, daily. Each event has produced a 5.3 magnitude earthquake around the Volcano area. Earthquakes powerful enough to damage buildings, roads, and the surrounding village homes.

 

Geologists have warned that this explosive event could cause a very large earthquake that could cause a major Tsunami. Also a land slide from the lower rift into the ocean. The last time something like this happened, in 1975 when a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred, the Kapoho tide pools were created. It cause the ground in the Kapoho area to sink into the ocean. Today, the Kapoho tide ponds are no more. They have been reclaimed by Madam Tutu Pele. The area is now all black Pāhoehoe (smooth lava) and ʻĀʻā (rough lava). Both the ocean life and land vegetation is dead. All that remains, is newly formed land by lava. This is what the tide pools used to look like.

Kapoho Tide Pools

This was one of the hidden gems in Hawai’i. Warm tide pools where shallow enough to wander out. You could see little fish and shrimps scrambling around. It was peaceful and calm. You could either sit on the rocks, or in the tide pools. Eventually, this all will return, when Madam Tutu Pele decides to rest.

I don’t know which is worse. The fact that people who have either lost their homes to the lava, or the people that are robbing and vandalizing home of evacuees. These cock-a-roaches that steal from homeowners are truly disgusting and I hope they get caught. It is a felony if they are caught.

Meanwhile, we have must be ready to evacuate at a moments notice. We worry about the direction of the trade-winds, and if VOG and Pele’s Hair should appear (Pele’s Hair – fine threads of volcanic glass, formed when a spray of lava droplets cools rapidly in the air.) It looks like hair, but it’s glass and sharp. You don’t want to breathe that stuff in. So much for life on a volcano.

 

 

 

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