5-19-18 Leilani Eruption From The Air


A week ago I took a helicopter tour over the new eruption area in and around Leilani Estates. The new clusters of fissures had just gotten very robust with more fluid lava flows and they were quickly headed to the ocean.

Of course, these images are already old in comparison to what the area looks like now but, they do show numerous interesting sights.

One is the lava bomb house where the guy had his lower leg shattered. It happened that day I believe. Holes can be seen in the roof and solar panels.

The others show when the one flow first started to disappear into the giant crack that opened up. It was still in thick trees and brush so it hadn’t been discovered yet.

Both of these images are shown below.

Since I was just riding along and not dictating what I needed/wanted to film I have limited images. I loaded 98% of what I shot even though they are in sequence and similar. Clouds block different houses in others so, I decided to load them all.

I used two cameras. One was my trusty old Nikon D800 with a fixed 24mm lens for the wide shots and my newer Panasonic Lumix GH5 with the Leica Lumix 100mm – 400mm (200mm – 800mm equivalent in a full frame system). Its amazing the images I was able to capture using such a long reach lens. Not having the option to hover in place I decided not to try video. The strong trades were also an issue. Next outing I’ll try the 70-200 2.8 for low light video. It will be much easier to maneuver.

So its easy to know which camera shot what images I loaded two separate galleries.

5-19-18 Leilani Eruption Helicopter D800 (wide shots)

5-19-18 Leilani Eruption Helicopter GH5 (zoomed in shots)

Both galleries start with images shot earlier that morning from Hwy 137 in Kapoho.

Remember, both galleries have multiple pages.

No, I don’t have any images from the ground in the residential areas. I have my reasons why I chose not to go at this time. Maybe someday I’ll share them if and when it’s appropriate.

The image below shows the possible lava bomb house at fissure 17. Bottom right is the crack loud jetting sounds and steam were coming from. Not much lava. That’s a doors off Paradise Helicopter tour passing below us. I was on the same type of tour with Paradise. Look hard and you can see the large lava bombs/spatter in the yard and holes in the roof and solar panels. Also, a small lattice structure that was destroyed.


Below are the merged fissures 16 and 20. They’re sending two large rivers of lava towards the ocean. Note the lower right corner and the stand of dead or dying trees. That’s the large crack opening up and lava is starting to flow into it. Where it went no one knows.


In this image below you can clearly see the lava flowing into the crack as it opens much wider. Upper right corner.


Some final notes.

Civil Defense and every other agency you can think of has their hands full so, please stay away from the eruption area and view from either the air or boat tours. As the eruption grows and intensifies the area becomes even more dangerous. New breakouts will be faster and more widespread. The chances of getting trapped or worse are very real.

Also, don’t believe everything you hear on Facebook. If you want exact and real updates visit the USGS-HVO update website and or Hawaii County Civil Defense. You can also follow my twitter feed as I get my information from these sources.

Don’t be afraid to visit the island. This is only affecting a very small region in comparison to the size of The Big Island.

This event is affecting the entire islands economy. Not just those who have lost homes etc… If you want to help, be sure and donate to reputable organizations only and visit the island. Tourism is our economy.

The eruption is a beautiful sight to see but, tragic too.

Fine art Prints available at Pacific Fine Art in Kailua Kona, 75-5744 Ali’i Drive Hawaii at the Kona Inn Shopping Village. 808-329-5009

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***All content copyright protected 2018 © Bryan Lowry / lavapix.com All rights reserved worldwide***

“To use video in a commercial player, advertising or in broadcasts, please email Brave Bison at licensing@bravebison.io

Violet Moffitt Lowry

July 7, 1937 – March 12, 2018


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