Lava Fissure in Leilani Estates Ends

May 4, 2018, 12:17 AM HST (Updated May 15, 2018, 11:13 AM)

The United States Geological Survey reports that the eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano that began in late afternoon ended by about 6:30 p.m. Lava spatter and gas bursts erupted from the fissure for about two hours, and lava spread a short distance from the fissure, less than about 33 feet.

Areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani Estates subdivision appears at greatest risk. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense is on scene and coordinating needed responses, including evacuation of the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions. PC: USGS

At this time, the fissure is not erupting lava and no other fissures have erupted.

HVO geologists are working near the fissure overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano’s overall activity.

Recent Observations


Geologists reported this evening that the presence of sulfur gas is quite noticeable around the fissure, typical of active and recently active fissures. The concentration of sulfur dioxide gas is high within tens of meters (yards) of the fissure.

Lava flows did not advance more than about 10 m (33 ft) from the fissure. The flows are no longer active.

At this time, no other fissures have erupted from along the rift zone.

Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit continue to record deflationary tilt and the lava lake level has dropped about 37 m (121 ft) in the past 24 hours.

Seismic activity has not changed significantly during the day or since the brief fissure eruption.

Hazard Analysis

The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. Additional erupting fissures and new lava outbreaks may occur. It is not possible at this time to say when and where new vents may occur.

Areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk.

See the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense messages and alerts for additional information



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