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Wednesday Whatzits: Kilauea takes out the last Royal Gardens home

Kilauea has spent the last ~20 years paving over the Royal Gardens subdivision with lava … and now it looks like its going to finish the job. Also, a stunning shot of lightning and eruption at Sakurajima.

News for the snowy (well, here) midweek:

Lava flows from Kilauea surround an old structure at Royal Gardens in Hawai`i.

  • A hearty thanks to all the Eruptions readers who offered advice on where to find a couple of great volcano videos I’ve been trying to track down. I think I’ve found copies I can get a hold of at the USGS and discovered that Discover Your Northwest (formerly the NW Interpretative Assoc.) is expecting to get a DVD version of one of the videos this spring.
  • The folks at the Astronomy Picture of the Day put up this great image of strombolian eruptions and lightning at Sakurajima. Definitely one of the cooler images of volcanoes I’ve seen this year.
  • Over on the big island of Hawai`i, lava flows from Kilauea are marching through parts of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Since the early 1980s, lava from Kilauea’s east rift has destroyed 66 buildings in the subdivision and is currently filling in a lot of the spaces that had been previously untouched. The lava is being fed through at least 6 lava tubes that brings it down the slope of the volcano to the area of Royal Gardens. The last surviving home in Royal Gardens (owned by one Jack Thompson) is now in the path of the current activity, with lava flows only ~150 meters away. You might be amused by Mr. Thompson comments about why he bought a home on the slopes of the volcano: “I knew it was right here near Volcanoes National Park and there wasn’t any old lava flows, there wasn’t any old cinder cones, it was just pristine forest as far as you could see in any direction.” Just goes to show, looks can be deceiving.

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