Definitions for puʻu ʻōʻō

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  1. Puʻu ʻŌʻō

    Puʻu ʻŌʻō is a cinder/spatter cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano of the Hawaiian Islands. Puʻu ʻŌʻō has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983, making it the longest-lived rift-zone eruption of the last two centuries. Although the name is often translated as "Hill of the ʻŌʻō Bird" from Hawaiian, there is a different explanation of the Hawaiian appellation. The word ʻŌʻō also means digging stick. Because in Hawaiian legends the volcano goddess Pele uses her magic rod pāoa to create volcanic pits, this seems to be the intention for the naming. The cone was originally informally called "Puʻu O" by volcanologists, who simply assigned letters to vents as they arose during the first part of the eruption. By January 2005, 2.7 cubic kilometers of magma covered an area of more than 117 square kilometers and added 230 acres of land to the Southeast coast of Hawaiʻi. So far, the eruption has claimed 189 buildings and 14 kilometers of highways, as well as a church, a store, the Wahaʻula Visitor Center, and many ancient Hawaiian sites, including the Wahaʻula heiau. The coastal highway has been closed since 1987, as it has been buried under lava up to 35 meters thick.

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