Wednesday Whatzits: Kilauea takes out the last Royal Gardens home

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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Lava flows from Kilauea in Hawai`i move towards a home in Kalapana. Whenever I think about the hazards posed by most lava flows, I tend to think about the opening scene in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Developers are planning to knock our hero Arthur Dent's house down and as a last ditch…
Sally Sennert from the Smithsonian Institution sent me an email to say that this week's USGS/Smithsonian Institute Weekly Volcanic Report will be delayed due to the inclement weather in the Washington DC area. She can't connect with the server, so the report can't be updated on the Smithsonian…
Some of the articles you might have missed this week ... A lava flow from Kilauea breaks local traffic laws in the Royal Gardens subdivision, Hawai'i The Mayon Watch continues in the Philippines. No eruption yet, but some of the local newspapers are printing stories talking about "odd animal…

Well, so long as Mr. Thompson knows where the flows were up to before he goes to bed, he can be reasonably comfortable that he can sleep through the night and simply get up and walk away the next day (as long as he's not completely surrounded by hot oozing lava).

By MadScientist (not verified) on 10 Feb 2010 #permalink

Old Jack can always rebuild once volcano quiets down...maybe in another 30 years!