Hawaii Volcano Blog

VOLCANO UPDATE, May 14, 8:36 AM: Fissure 19 Emerges Near 15

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Aerial view of fissure 17 around 4:30 p.m. HST. On the west end of the flow, intermittent percussive jetting threw spatter and lava bombs up to 500 feet above the ground. East margin of the ‘a‘ā flow was cascading into a pit or graben.

8 a.m., May 13, 2018: A slow, sticky a‘a flow emerges from a new fissure just over a half-mile northeast of the end of Hinalo Street. The fissure—No. 17—is about one-half mile south of Highway 132. Some reports have referred to this fissure as number 18 but that is not correct. Fissure 18 had not erupted by this time. It erupted today however, May 14.

This news story will be updated throughout the day as new information becomes available and new articles will be added to the website’s “News” section. Previous information about ongoing events can be found in Big Island Now’s “Volcano Blog” section.


Eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system.

Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawai‘i County Civil Defense closures, warnings and messages.


This morning, activity is dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter more than 100 feet into the air, and an advancing lava flow from fissure 17 at the northeast end of the fissure system. As of 6:30 a.m., the fissure 17 flow had traveled just under a mile roughly east-southeast parallel to the rift zone.

It is turning slightly south and at this time is about one half-mile south of Highway 132.

Fissure 18 that became active late yesterday is weakly active.

A fissure 19 has been spotted very near fissure 15 as of about 8 a.m., just northeast of Pohoiki Road and north of Hinalo Street at the east end of Lanipuna Gardens. It is producing a sluggish lava flow.

Fissures 1–18 as of May 14, 2018, noon. Hawai‘i County map.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Yesterday with the onset of activity at fissure 17, powerful steam jets have occurred intermittently near the west end of the fissure. These jets may be responsible for some of the loud sounds reported by residents and emergency workers.


This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area.

The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

Monday, May 14,  7:25 a.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure in Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision has opened between fissure 15 and 16 at this time.

May 14, 6 a.m.


Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that fissure 17 continues to be active. A narrow lava flow has been generated and is slowly moving toward the ocean, which is about two miles away. There are no homes or roads threatened at this time.

Be aware, no sightseeing is permitted in the area.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

On schools, Keonepoko Elementary, Pāhoa High, Intermediate and Elementary Schools are open. Normal school bus routes are operating today.

On road closures, Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School.

Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.

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