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Lava's advance slows as it nears ocean

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:34 p.m. HST, Dec 9, 2011

The lava flow from the latest eruption of Puu Oo crater has stalled, for now, on its way to the ocean and bypassed the home of Jack Thompson, the only remaining resident in the Royal Gardens subdivision near Kalapana.

Since reaching the coastal plain about 1.5 miles from the ocean on Tuesday, lava has been inching forward down the northern flank of Puu Oo crater, said Janet Babb, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory spokeswoman.

She said it is hard to predict when the flow will reach the ocean.

A pilot told scientists at the observatory that the lava hasn’t advanced much since Thursday,  although lava continues to flow into the tube system feeding the flow and is active in the Royal Gardens subdivision. 

The lava is moving over old lava flows and is not a threat to any structures, officials said.

The Kilauea volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983.

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