3:15 P.M. VIDEO UPDATE: Fire and Fury

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UPDATE: May 18, at 3:15 p.m.

Videographer Mick Kalber posted the following video of an overflight of Leilani Estates made this morning, Friday, May 18, 2018, with Paradise Helicopters.

May 18, 2018 Fire and Fury from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Kalber stated:

WOW!!! Huge eruptions are happening at fissures below Leilani Estates! Two gigantic pahoehoe outbreaks are emanating from Fissures 16 and 17, and a towering high fountain eruption is blasting skyward at Fissure 17. The lava is spreading in various directions, but hasn’t gone too far yet. Highway 132 is still safe, at least for the time being. Much of the lava generated is pooling on top of the previous flows or moving to the south-southeast, but not from the distal tip of the flow front. Another sizable outbreak and small fountain is effusing hot rock from Fissure 18 in Lanipuna Gardens. The outbreak on Ho‘okupu at the bottom of Leilani Estates is still active, spitting a bit, but has largely subsided. Nothing appears active above Ho‘okupu. This is most likely lava from the collapsed Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent… it is much hotter and more fluid… scientists now expect to see more fountaining and longer flows from this eruption. The trade winds are back, so the SO2 is once again being blown to the south, and most of the subdivision has breathable air. Mahalo to pilot Colin Burkardt the kind folks at Paradise Helicopters… they offer the finest charters in the islands! Bruce Omori, Leilani and I had a fabulous lava overflight!

The USGS posted this video of spattering at Fissure 17 around 12:30 a.m., on May 18, 2018. The audio is the sound generated by the jetting of magma and gases from the fissure.


UPDATE: May 18, at 1:13 p.m.

Ikaika Marzo reports that a new fissure is opening up in Lanipuna Gardens.  If this is confirmed, it would be Fissure 23.

UPDATE, May 18, 9:30 a.m.

This is a Civil Defense Message for Friday, May 18, 2018, at 9 a.m.


The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has reported a new fissure 22.  Several fissures have gone active with lava spatter and flow.  Forty (40) structures have been reported destroyed as of this morning.

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. Click to enlarge. (USGS Photo)

Due to increasing SO2, eruptive and fissure development the following policies are in effect:

  • Leilani Estates evacuees must be alert to possible decreased availability of access.
  • If your property is not accessible, contact Civil Defense for the possibility of escort.
  • No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to high levels of dangerous volcanic gases.

For your information:

  • Checkpoints along Highway 137, 132 and 130 are limited to resident access only.
  • No trespassing.  Under Emergency Provisions, any looting or vandalism during an emergency will be treated as a felony and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
  • Pahoa Post Office is reopened.

Original Post:

On Friday, May 18, 2018, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has reported a new fissure 22, between fissures 19 and 20. Several fissures are active with spattering. A lava flow at fissure 17 is covering the existing lava flow, but no new advancement is occurring.

At 3:00 p.m. HST, aerial view of a new erupting fissure (21, located between fissure 3 and 7) and lava flow in Leilani Estates. This view is toward the west. HVO geologists will track the changing activity through the night. Click to enlarge. (USGS Photo)


These radar amplitude images were acquired by the Italian Space Agency’s Cosmo-SkyMed satellite system and show changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano that occurred between May 5 at 6:12 a.m. HST (left) and May 17 at 6:12 a.m. HST (right).

The satellite transmits a radar signal at the surface and measures the strength of the reflection, with bright areas indicating a strong reflection and dark areas a weak reflection. Strong reflections indicate rough surfaces or slopes that point back at the radar, while weak reflections come from smooth surfaces or slopes angled away from the radar. The May 17 image was acquired after two small explosions from the summit eruptive vent. Major changes with respect to the May 5 image include: (1) a darkening of the terrain south of Halema‘uma‘u, which may reflect accumulation of ash over the 12-day period between the images; (2) enlargement of the summit eruptive vent on the floor of Halema‘uma‘u, from about 12 acres on May 5 to about 34 acres on May 17; and (3) the development of a small depression (area of about 15 acres) on the east rim of Halema‘uma‘u that reflects slumping of a portion of the rim towards the growing collapse pit on the crater floor.

Due to the continued volcanic activity the following policies are in effect:

  1. Do continue to be on the alert for volcanic fumes of SO2.
  2. Volcanic gas such as SO2, is especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
  3. People in areas downwind of rifts may intermittently experience higher levels of fumes. People with breathing problems should avoid being outdoors and leave the area if deemed necessary.
  4. To help our residents, we are distributing free masks for ash protection.

Distribution will continue today from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cooper Center and Ocean View Community Center. One mask per family member. Masks DO NOT protect against gasses and vapors. They will only provide filtering for ash.

A third shelter has opened. Sure Foundation, located on Pohaku Circle in Keaau, is now open.

People from Pāhoa who have breathing concerns are relocating from the Pāhoa Community Center shelter to the Sure Foundation shelter.

The shelter will cater specifically to people with breathing issues, but everyone is welcome. All shelters are pet friendly.

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