A boomer on the volcano’s front lines

If you think baby boomers aren’t still out there taking risks and reporting the news, think again. Even “older” boomers, like Mick Kalber. Mick has been a television news cameraman all his life, and since he now lives on the big island of Hawaii, he has just produced video of the eruptions of Kilauea on a daily basis that are as dramatic as anything we’ve seen. Read his log from June 20th, then watch the video he shot that day and the 21st from a helicopter.

A gorgeous morning over east Hawaii allowed for a spectacular view of the Leilani flow field.

Fissure eight is changing shape, but continuing to pump out a remarkable volume of lava. Most of the fountaining activity is now confined within the nearly 200-foot high cinder cone that the legendary goddess Pele has built around her fountaining.

Mick hanging out of the front seat of the helicopter with his high definition video camera.

Her fountains of fire feed enormous rivers that transport the molten rock to the Pacific Ocean in Kapoho. The ocean entry was spectacular this morning… with two major entries located near where the beach community of Vacationland stood just two weeks ago. Tons of lava is entering the water there and a billowing plume emanates from the water’s surface.

Homes on the north end of the development called the Beach Lots are still in danger, although the lava seems to have stalled there for the most part. Fissure 8 is now really the only active vent of Kilauea’s Leilani Estates eruption, which is now about to enter its eighth week… although there has been a bit of renewed activity observed at Fissures 6 & 15 just upslope from the thermal energy plant known as Puna Geothermal Venture. The other twenty some-odd fissures are smoking, steaming, and glowing, but not erupting… while Fissure 8, almost dead center in the middle of the beleaguered subdivision, continues to send 6-9 million cubic yards of lava a day flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.

Mick Kalber airborne and ready to shoot video.

Pele continues to create new land off the eastern coast of the Big Island. The ocean entry is sending Pele’s enormous rivers of lava plunging into the cool Pacific, releasing a steam cloud of haze drifting southward. She is making only a little progress toward the Ahalanui Hot Ponds two miles south, but not much… and is only creeping in and around the remaining houses of Kapoho Beach Lots and Ag lots structures to the north.

Nearly all of Pele’s lava is contained… channeled down a series of huge rivers from Fissure Eight, through Leilani Estates and down the eight miles to Kapoho. The eruption began seven weeks ago in the lower part of Leilani Estates. More than two dozen fissures have oozed, spattered, or jetted lava over the past seven weeks… the activity finally settling down at Fissure #8.

Sean Regehr of Paradise Helicopters kept us safely aloft over the flow. Mahalo plenty!

June 23, 2018 Phenomenal Fissure Eight from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

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