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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kílauea marks 27 years since eruption began

Advertiser Staff

When Kílauea began its most current eruption, Ronald Reagan was in the first of two terms as president of the United States, the country was in the midst of a brief but damaging recession and Michael Jackson was preparing to debut his signature "moonwalk."

Reagan and Jackson have passed on and a new recession is proving far more formidable than any in recent memory, but Kílauea's eruption shows no sign of weakening.

Today marks the 27th anniversary of the Kílauea eruption, which, as the U.S. Geological Survey notes, has ignited forest fires, destroyed subdivisions and towns, displaced small populations and blocked roads while at the same time extended the Big Island's land mass and attracted millions of photo-happy tourists.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is marking the occasion with a month of volcano awareness and education activities. A complete listing is available on the HVO Web site (www.hvo.wr.usgs.gov).

Lava continues to spread from a vent on the volcano's east rift zone, flowing through lava tubes to the ocean west of Kalapana, according to the service.