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7 P.M. UPDATE: Civil Defense Update on Kīlauea Eruption

May 15, 2018, 1:31 PM HST (Updated May 15, 2018, 11:10 PM) · 7 Comments
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UPDATE: May 15, 7 p.m.

This is a Civil Defense Message for Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 7 p.m.

The Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency has received several inquiries from media and the public asking about the potential for a tsunami to affect other counties. This is a false message being spread.

According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory there is no geologic evidence for a tsunami-generating earthquake at this time. Any such event is extremely unlikely.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and other county, state and federal partners continue to monitor the volcanic and seismic activity. We will inform you of any conditions that affect your safety.

Status of Kīlauea volcano can be found at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov.

Please sign up for the latest alerts and official information through the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency website: www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts

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UPDATE: May 15, 6 p.m.

This is a Civil Defense Message for Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 6 p.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports that Fissure 6, near Leilani Avenue and Pohoiki Road, has become active again. They have noted lava fountaining and spatter as of about 4:45 p.m. The flow from fissure 17 has had little advancement since this morning.

HVO has increased the Aviation Color Code to Red due to increased ash emission from Kilauea.  Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog have been reported along Highway 11 to Pahala. At any time, activity may increase the intensity of ash production.

This image is from a temporary research camera positioned near Kapoho looking northwest. From left to right on the horizon, one can see Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent near the left edge of the image, the gas plume from Halemaʻumaʻu crater near the middle of the image (when clear enough), and Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea farther to the right. USGS Photo taken at 6:46 p.m. May 15, 2018.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

  • Volcano School of Art and Science will be closed tomorrow May 16, 2018.
  • Hawai‘i Fire Department reports that air quality is condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures is especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
  • The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 is open beyond Malama Street for local residents only.  The Hawai‘i Police Department reports no large trailers or heavy equipment will be allowed over the metal plates.
  • Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pāhoa High School.  Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.
  • As a precautionary measure, residents of lower Puna are advised to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption. Because there may be little to no advance notice to evacuate, you should be prepared to evacuate at short notice.  Take this time to prepare.
  • If you evacuate voluntarily, the Pāhoa Community Center and Kea‘au Community Center are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet-friendly. This is a precautionary message.  We want everyone in the Lower Puna area to be ready, and to remain safe.

County, State and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

The residents of Puna are going through a very difficult time.  We ask for your help and understanding.

UPDATE: May 15, 2:30 p.m.

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 is now open beyond Malama Street for local residents only. The Hawai‘i Police Department is requesting no large trailers or heavy equipment be taken over the metal plates.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a steady eruption of ash coming from Halema‘uma‘u Crater is causing ash to fall downwind across portions of Ka‘ū District. Ash is being reported along Highway 11 to Pahala.

Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant.
Those with breathing issues should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.
Motorists are advised to drive with caution.
All roads in this area are open at this time.
Hawai‘i Fire Department reports that air quality is still condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
County, State and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

At 11:43 HST, Civil Air Patrol flight CAP20 reported plume tops at 9,500′ with the dispersed plume up to 11,000′. The CAP mission was launched from Hilo in support of Hawai’i County Civil Defense and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory response to the ongoing eruption. Ashfall from this plume has been reported falling on communities downwind. Click to Enlarge USGS Photo

The Hawai‘i County Civil Defense released the following message for Tuesday, May 15, at 1 p.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a steady eruption of ash coming from Halema‘uma‘u Crater is causing ash to fall downwind across portions of Ka‘ū District.  Ash is being reported along Highway 11 to Pahala.

  • Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant.
  • Those with breathing issues should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.
  • Motorists are advised to drive with caution.
  • All roads in this area are open at this time.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports eruption activity continues in lower Puna with fissure 20 opening early this morning.  The narrow lava flow from fissure 17 is the only active flow at this time.  It has slowed down considerably and is moving about 20 yards per hour toward the ocean, about 1.2 miles from Highway 137.  There are no homes or roads threatened at this time. Be aware, no sightseeing is permitted in the area.

For up to date information go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-lava-map

For the latest images and information from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

  • The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 work continues from Malama Street to Kamaili Road. Expect opening later today for local traffic only.
  • Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pāhoa High School.  Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.
  • Hawai‘i Fire Department reports that air quality is still condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.

The residents of Puna are going through a very difficult time.  We ask for your help and understanding.

County, State and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation.  You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

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