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Lava reaches abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:33 a.m. HST, Dec 2, 2011

Lava flows from Puu Oo have reached the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision, about 4.4 miles southeast of the crater, scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report.

The lava is visible from the county viewing area in Kalapana.

Lava and burning trees could be seen below the top of the pali within Royal Gardens, county workers reported.

Scientists say the glow from lava on the east and west edges of the Puu Oo crater floor can be seen on webcameras.

They were planning to fly over the lava flows today to check on the lava's progress and to examine a new area where a lava glow was seen Thursday night on the north flank of Puu Oo.

The eruption in Kilauea's middle east rift zone started with a fissure eruption on Jan. 3, 1983, and has continued since then at Puu Oo or from nearby vents, with few interruptions.

The latest phase of the eruption began in early August when the Puu Oo crater floor collapsed. Lava refilled the crater and a fissure eruption on the upper southeast flank of Puu Oo on Sept. 21 began feeding the lava flow, which has advanced in spurts since then.

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