From yesterday's television newscasts in Hawaii, with headlines such as "Lava Inches Towards Big Island Homes", you would think that many people were in danger. However, the Kilauea lava flow is once again heading towards the Royal Gardens subdivision in Puna, a place Pele (Hawaiian Fire Goddess) destroyed starting with lava flows in 1983. Now all that remains are mostly a handful of dilapidated houses.
Only two bachelors live in Royal Gardens, one of them is Jack Thompson who runs a bed and breakfast from his Royal Gardens home called the Lava House. Most visitors come by helicopter for a visit, but rarely does anyone stay overnight.
Jack planned on staying there even with a mandatory evacuation planned for today, but I saw on the tv news that he peacefully left on his own accord. The Hawaii Civil Defense will be monitoring the situation as the lava flow has slowed to about a quarter mile outside of the subdivision.
Last week was the 25th Year Anniversary of the Kilauea Lava Flow. Read about how one native Hawaiian man named Uncle Robert, saved his Kalapana home that stood in the path of a moving lava flow.
***JULY 8, 2008 UPDATE***
HILO » Lava fountains up to 30 feet high burst out about four miles above a self-described hermit's homestead in Royal Gardens on Sunday night and continued through yesterday.
A brush fire started by a long, thin finger of lava set the wet, rotting wood of Dean Schneider's house smoldering.
Jack Thompson, Schneider's only neighbor in the otherwise deserted 3-square-mile subdivision, put out the fire.
Read the complete article "Spurting lava stirs drama for hermit" from the Star Bulletin.