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

May 16, 2018, 8:12 AM HST (Updated May 16, 2018, 6:26 PM) · 0 Comments
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UPDATE: May 16, 6 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that activity within Leilani subdivision and the lower East Rift continues at a diminished rate, no flows are active. Heavy de-gassing is occurring at each vent.

Due to the continued activities at Kīlauea crater and the lower Eastern Flow, please be advised the following policies are in effect:

  • Highway 11 near the entrance to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open at this time, although the road has suffered minor cracking.
  • ​All other highways are open.  Local traffic only beyond checkpoints at Highway 130 by Pāhoa High School, and Highway 132 at Pohoiki Road intersection.
  • Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory advises everyone to be on alert as Volcanic gas is traveling downwind to Lower Puna, Volcano Village and surrounding areas.  Be on alert for light ashfall and possible hazardous conditions across Ka‘ū, Puna and Hilo Districts.
  • The Hawai‘i Fire Department reports air quality condition RED in areas around 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.

We are on watch 24-hours a day for your safety.

UPDATE: May 16, 11:40 a.m.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports the earthquake that occurred at approximately 11:36 a.m. was NOT large enough to cause a tsunami for the Island of Hawai‘i.  There is NO tsunami threat for the island of Hawai‘i.

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Preliminary data indicates that the earthquake measuring a magnitude of 4.0 was centered in the summit region of Kīlauea.

As in all earthquakes, be aware of the possibility of after shocks.  If the earthquake was strongly felt in your area, precautionary checks should be made for any damages; especially to utility connections of gas, water and electricity.

UPDATE: May 16, 11:12 a.m.

Web cameras and reports from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at Kīlauea Volcano Summit indicate occasional bursts of volcanic ash emanating from Halemaumau Crater (19.4N 155.3W). These bursts may be brief and may occur at multiple times. Light upslope winds may carry ash across portions of Ka‘ū, Puna, and North and South Hilo Districts up to 10,000 feet.

In the event of a more significant eruption, an Ashfall Advisory or Warning may be necessary.

Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant. Those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.

For more information on the status of Kilauea Volcano, please see
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/status.html

For health and safety recommendations, please visit the Hawai‘i Interagency Vog Information Dashboard at https://vog.ivhhn.org.

UPDATE: May 16, 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service has cancelled the Ashfall Advisory as of 8:33 a.m. Volcanic emissions from Halemaumau Crater have decreased since Tuesday evening. The NWS could reissue the advisory as conditions warrant.

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.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that occasional bursts of ash are coming from Halemaumau Crater, causing cause ash to fall downwind across portions of Lower Puna to include Volcano Village and Kau District.  Only trace dusting of ash is currently visible on property.

  • 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.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents in lower Puna. An interruption in trade winds today means that Lower Puna, Volcano Village and surrounding areas, such as the Big Island North, South and Interior, may experience varying levels of vog and sulfur dioxide exposure.  The Hawaii 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.

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 Pahoa 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.

  • The Hawaii Interagency Vog Information Dashboard has comprehensive information and data related to vog and ash hazards and impact: https://vog.ivhhn.org

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

Sign up for the latest Civil Defense Agency messages and alerts at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts

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

Original Post:

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports that several fissures are active producing spatter, however the flow from Fissure 17 has not advanced since yesterday, Tuesday, May 15, 2018.  For up to date information go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-lava-map​.

This image taken on 7:46 a.m. May 16, 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. Click to enlarge. (USGS Photo)

HVO has increased the Aviation Color Code to Red due to increased ash emission from Kīlauea.  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.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

  • Volcano School of Arts and Sciences will be closed today 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 lead to symptoms such as eye and nose irritation, and coughing. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas is especially dangerous for the 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.

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