The former flow front stopped just short of the Pāhoa Transfer Station early last month, creating a perfect viewing area for the public.
By Susan Enright.
Faculty, staff and students from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo geology department and Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV) are assisting Hawai‘i County Civil Defense with public tours of the lava flow in Puna. The former flow front stopped just short of the Pāhoa Transfer Station early last month, creating a perfect viewing area for the public.
The opening of public access to the area began last week with educational tours for school children, and was opened Wednesday to the general public.
“This is now the showcase area for the lava flow,” says Darcy Bevens, educational specialist at CSAV (2:13 in the video above).
Liliana Desmither, a recent graduate of the UH Hilo geology program assisting CSAV with this public outreach project, and Bevens were at the transfer station on Wednesday from 8:00 to 6:00 p.m. to help answer questions.
UH Hilo geology lecturer Cheryl Gansecki, who has been producing videos of the flow, and students who have finished their exams will help Thursday. Ken Hon, UH Hilo professor of geology and an expert in pahoehoe lava, will be there Friday.
Darcy Bevens reports on the first day of the Pāhoa Transfer Station being open to the public as a viewing stage of the lava flow:
There were no large tour buses, only residents and visitors in sedans. Handicapped vehicles get to park in the Transfer Station; volunteers guide everyone else to parking on Apaa Street, where the brush has been cut way back and gravel laid down to form a wide shoulder.
It had rained the night before, so some of the inflated areas had steam rising from cracks, delighting visitors. Folks are allowed to stand under the Transfer Station Roof, and to walk to the fenced-in area of the utility poles.
All the visitors were amazed to see the lava, and so were residents. I thought residents would be asking when the lava would hit the Market, but to the contrary, they wanted to know when their beloved Transfer Station would be open for trash disposal again! Everyone admired the beautiful creations of Pele, and everyone was grateful to (Civil Defense) for opening this up for viewing.
County Civil Defense reports the new flow front, occurring north of the old front, remains active and continues to advance toward Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road intersection. Current activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities but residents are advised to remain vigilant in tracking the flow. Visit the County Civil Defense website and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website for current flow updates.
About the author of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist in the Office of the Chancellor. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.
-UH Hilo Stories