Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

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Pele shows 'a lot more' Big Island activity

By Gregg K. Kakesako


Increased volcanic activity continues at the summit of Kilauea and at the Puu Oo vent.

Lava is flowing from another east cone and a vent on the east wall of Puu Oo into the crater. Hawaii Volcano Observatory released a video Wednesday of the activity in the crater. The flow continued, off and on, Thursday and yesterday.

A lava lake in Halemaumau is also active.

A section of rock above the summit vent collapsed into the lake Monday, sending gas and ash into the air and creating loud popping that could be heard by visitors at the Jaggar Museum overlook in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Lava ash and "Pele's hair" — fine strands of cooled lava — dusted cars in the parking lot.

The summit vent has grown to nearly 500 feet across.

"There seems to be increased magma supply in the system, so we're just getting a lot more activity," said Janet Babb, a spokeswoman for Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Babb said the floor at Puu Oo has risen about 200 feet in the past year.

Rocks continue to fall into the lava lake at Halemaumau at the summit, she said, although not with the same intensity as earlier in the week.

Babb said lava continued to flow through the tube system over the pali and on the coastal plane near Kala-pana. But lava was not going into the ocean and was not posing an immediate threat to homes in Kala-pana Gardens.


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