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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, September 3, 2001

Lava flow covers part of Highway 130 again

By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

KALAPANA, Hawai'i — A new finger of lava has crossed a viewing access road west of Kalapana, isolating the viewing area, Civil Defense Administrator Bill Davis said.

The breach was reported at 9 a.m. yesterday. The exact time when the lava breached the road had not been determined.

Scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported that conditions yesterday morning limited visibility because the area was "socked in by fume." They had said that the lava flow was 12 to 18 feet wide.

County crews worked for two weeks to re-establish an unpaved section of Highway 130 so visitors could get a closer look at Kilauea's lava as it enters the ocean at Kalapana. The road, which was opened Aug. 17, was closed Thursday after about 10,000 visitors had used it over two weeks.

Scientists had warned Mayor Harry Kim of a possible lava breakout.

Authorities have warned visitors and residents to stay out of the area until a clearer understanding of the newest activity has been determined.

There have been no reports of incidents since the road was closed.

Kilauea's latest eruption began Jan. 3, 1983, and has destroyed nearly 200 buildings in lower Puna and miles of county, state and private roadway as well as large chunks of the National Park Service's Chain of Craters road.

No structures were considered endangered yesterday.