East Hawaii News

Volcano and Earthquake Monitoring Resumes after Iselle

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The US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory resumed full monitoring of volcanoes and earthquakes on Wednesday, Aug. 13, five days after topical storm Iselle knocked out power to parts of the island and left the center less than fully operational.

HVO representatives say the instrument networks and monitoring computer systems designed by staff weathered the storm with very little damage; however, they remained offline to the public for several days because internal power problems needed to be assessed, and replacement parts had to be ordered from the US mainland.

During the impaired operations, the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado was tasked with earthquake monitoring duties under a previously determined arrangement.

HVO representatives say colleagues at the Alaska Volcano Observatory took over scanning satellite imagery for information about Hawaiian volcanoes.


During the period, HVO staff say they also added one seismometer near Kīlauea caldera and a camera looking at the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake with telemetry that could be accessed directly without first going through agency computer systems, which were intermittently operational.

“Fortunately, Iselle caused no or little damage to our field instruments, and HVO’s monitoring network is now functioning normally, so we can continue to keep state and county Civil Defense informed with the critical information they need to keep Island of Hawai‘i communities safe,” said HVO Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua in a press release update.


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