A very large vent opened on Pu’u O’o’s northwest slope that quickly drained Pu’u O’o. The flow traveled at an exceptional speed going nearly 2 miles in minutes. This is a great example of why I tell people to stay away from these areas. When I’m out there I avoid certain areas specifically for safety reasons. You have to be able to recognize these very real dangers. This flow moved at the rate of nearly 50 mph. Good luck out running it. The images are from the USGS over flight right after the event. I’ve added text to help understanding what you’re looking at. It went west to where I shot my March 6th Kamoamoa fissure eruption shots and north to the forest edge. The main flow went south blasting through an old section of burned up forest. That had to be something to see. I’m sure at least one tour helicopter got some footage. From what I can tell as of tonight the flow front had stalled or was spreading out further back by the source. The glowing has diminished greatly. This could be a very short event. Nothing more than Pu’u O’o draining. Come morning I’m sure every heli on this island will be out there. They had just opened the Napau area for camping and several lucky people were out there when this happened. They should have a few good images but, then again it happened so quickly who knows.
Be sure and join me on google+ for quicker updates in the future and visit this blog for a more detailed explanation later. Then of course my website if I’ve been out getting photos. This event ruined a large area for decent hiking. The quick flows have most likely left nasty shelly and slabby Pahoehoe lava that is too dangerous to walk on. I could tell during my last hike up there that Pu’u O’o was under lots of pressure. Now we shall see if it fills up yet again or if something entirely new starts up.
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