Approximately 50 Structures Lost in East Rift Zone So Far
On Thursday, May 24, 2018, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Big Island Now had the opportunity to join other media outlets from around the world for a trip inside the Leilani Estates Evacuation Zone with the Hawai‘i National Guard, lead by Major Jeff Hickman.
A three-car caravan took reporters to the Pāhoa Fire Station so that media members who didn’t already have a media pass, could obtain credentials that were scanned before and leaving the evacuation zone.
The first two cars were filled with media representatives and the last car was occupied by Hawai‘i National Guard Members.
After a briefing at the fire station, media members crowded into the two vehicles for a trip through Leilani Estates, heading down Leilani Avenue and eventually making it to a flow crossing Kahukai Street into the area where the fissures are currently erupting.
Many members of the media were very shocked to see just how high the fissures were fountaining and the rapid pace at which the magma was being moved out of the fissures, turning into a lava pond in areas and channeling on the others side of the fissures down toward the ocean.
At least one member of the media put on a protective mask to protect her from the fumes and smoke.
Members of the media could see what looked like four fissures (F5, F13, F6 and F15); however, it appeared that many of those four fissures were starting to meld into one big fissure.
Poor weather at the summit of Kīlauea has obscured views of Halema‘uma‘u for much of Thursday, but a brief break in the weather around noon allowed Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s webcam to capture this image of an ash plume rising from the crater at 12:17 p.m.
Even though weather has obscured visual observations of the ongoing summit explosions, HVO scientists are able to track them using signals from monitoring instruments, such as seismometers.
At a 3 p.m. press conference from the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense headquarters, Mayor Harry Kim’s assistant, Janet Snyder, told Big Island Now that there were approximately 50 structures that have now been destroyed by the lava flows so far.