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USGS Update on Fissures in East Rift Zone

May 24, 2018, 6:01 PM HST
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U.S. Geological Survey update for Thursday, May 24, 2018, at 5:12 p.m.

Big Island Now photo of the fissures crossing Kahukai Street in Leilani Estates. Photo taken Thursday, May 24 around 11:15 a.m.

Fissure 22 continues to erupt lava that is flowing southeast to the coast where lava is entering the ocean. Fairly tall fountains at Fissures 6 and 13 feed lava into a channel that reached the coast yesterday making a second ocean entry.

Fissure 7 and 21 are feeding a pahoehoe flow that has advanced eastward covering most of the area bounded by Leilani Blvd, Mohala St., and and the fissure line.

Fissure 17 continues weak spattering, Fissure 19 and 23 are no longer active.

Big Island Now photo of the fissures crossing Kahukai Street in Leilani Estates. Photo taken Thursday, May 24 around 11:15 a.m.

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Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) field crews are on site tracking the lava flows and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.

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For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.

Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from the erupting fissures so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Moderate trade winds today means that areas downwind of Kilauea gas emission sources may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/

For other information about vog, please see: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.

Big Island Now photo of the fissures crossing Kahukai Street in Leilani Estates. Photo taken Thursday, May 24 around 11:15 a.m.

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This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation has slowed and seismicity levels have decreased in the area.

Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of the fissure system could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

The County of Hawai‘i will be holding a Community Meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at the Pāhoa High School cafeteria.

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