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6 PM Update: Highway 132 is Closed

May 29, 2018, 7:53 AM HST
* Updated May 29, 5:58 PM
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May 29, 2018: A community map to help track the impacts of the activity of Kīlauea volcano in the district of Puna, Hawai’i beginning in May 2018. Data sourced from Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, USGS HVO, and social media reports from local news and residents.

Pāhoa fire station map photo taken at 7:57 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 2018. PC: Crystal Richard

Pāhoa fire station map photo taken at 7:57 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 2018. PC: Crystal Richard

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.

Tuesday, May 29, 6 p.m., U.S.G.S. Update and Civil Defense Update

This is a Civil Defense Message for Tuesday, May 29 at 6 p.m.

Highway 132 is closed from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners due to a lava flow that has crossed the highway. HELCO reports that lava destroyed their equipment on Highway 132, causing a power outage in the Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots area.  The area will be without power over an extended period of time.

Due to the lava activity the following policies are in effect:

  • Only residents with placards are allowed to access Highway 137 beyond Four Corners.
  • Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.
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The following is provided for your information:

  • Pele’s Hair which has fallen in the Pāhoa area can cause skin, nose, eye and lung irritation.
  • Stay inside or use ash masks for protection.
  • The Dept. of Health has changed the venue for tomorrow’s meeting to discuss vog and ash exposure in the Ka‘ū District. It will be at the Robert Herkes Gym and Emergency Shelter in Pahala at 5:30 in the evening.
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U.S.G.S.: Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Fissure 8 remained very active today fountaining to heights of 200 feet at times and feeding a lava flow that advanced atop the Fissure 8 ʻaʻā flow that was active Sunday night/Monday morning. The first lobe of this flow crossed highway 132 just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. Lava continues to advance toward the northeast

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Visual observations early Tuesday afternoon also confirmed continued weak activity at Fissures 18 and 19. Fissure 18 has produced channelized flows which have advanced 1.6 mi toward the coast.

Pele’s hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are being transported downwind and falling to the west of the fissure. On Monday night, there were reports of Pele’s hair falling in Pāhoa. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

The most recent map of lava flows can be found here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense. Crews are also checking on the status of ground cracks on Highway 130.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade winds are forecast to return in the coming days, meaning that vog may impact the southern and western sides of the island.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea’s summit. Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall under forecast wind conditions, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash

 

 

Tuesday, May 29, 5 p.m., U.S.G.S. Update

Overflight confirms weak ocean entry, in Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone

Scientists on the early morning overflight of Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone documented a very weak ocean entry. For the easternmost lobe, only a few small finger channels of lava were entering the ocean.

Click to enlarge. (USGS photo)

Fissure 8 reactivated on the afternoon of May 28, when, at times, lava fountains were reaching heights of 200 feet and feeding a lava flow that advanced to the northeast.

Click to enlarge (USGS Photo)

Video of fissure 8, as observed during a helicopter overflight on May 29, 2018, and as viewed from ground level. Fissure 8 was fountaining to heights of 200 feet at times, and feeding a lava flow that was traveling to the northeast.

Tephra (airborne lava fragments) erupted by the high lava fountains of fissure 8 was carried downwind, where the frothy rock fragments fell on Leilani Street, just past Kupono Street, in the Leilani Estates subdivision.

Click to enlarge. (USGS photo)

Tuesday, May 29, noon, Civil Defense Update

Highway 132 is closed from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners due to a lava flow approaching the highway.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the lava is flowing about 100 yards from the road.

Due to the lava activity the following policies are in effect:

  • Only residents with placards are allowed to access Highway 137 beyond Four Corners.
  • Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.
  • If lava breaches Highway 132, the area along the highway—Vacationland and Kapoho Beach lots will experience an extended power outage.

8 a.m., Civil Defense Update

Highway 132 was shut down at 6:45 this morning from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners due to a fast moving lava flow approaching the highway. Everyone is advised to avoid the area.

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

Beach Road is the only access into lower Puna.

Access to Isaac Hale Beach Park for recreation is closed.

Residents close to the active eruption must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare for voluntary evacuation should their areas become threatened.

You are advised to make necessary plans and monitor your radio or phone for Civil Defense alerts.

The National Weather Service reports Pele’s Hair is falling in the Pāhoa area. The following is provided for your information:

  • Pele’s Hair is sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibers, carried in the wind.
  • Avoid touching it or getting it in your eyes.
  • It can cause injury to eyes and lungs if breathed in.
  • Pele’s Hair is abrasive. If it lands on your windshield, do not use your wipers to clear it.

7:45 a.m.: HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT, U.S. Geological Survey

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Fissure 8 reactivated yesterday afternoon and, overnight, was fountaining to heights of 200 feet at times and feeding a lava flow that was traveling to the northeast. That flow was moving atop the Fissure 8 flow that was active the previous night, passing on to open ground and crossing Pohoiki Road at about 5 a.m. As of 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, lava is advancing along the north margin of an earlier lava flow from Fissure 7 toward the PGV access road.

Visual observations early Tuesday morning also confirmed continued weak activity at Fissures 18, 19 and 20. Fissure 18 has produced channelized flows which have advanced about one-third of the way (1.2 miles) toward the coast.

Pele’s hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are being transported downwind and falling to the west of the fissure. On Monday night, there were reports of Pele’s hair falling in Pāhoa. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Crews are also checking on the status of ground cracks on Highway 130.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade winds are forecast to return in the coming days, meaning that vog may impact the southern and western sides of the island.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawai‘i County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea’s summit.

At 1:56 a.m., there was a small explosion that sent ash to 15,000 feet above sea level. The ash cloud rose vertically above the summit and drifted only slightly to the northwest owing to calm winds. The explosion was reported felt by a number of residents in the Volcano area, and it resulted in the emplacement of some incandescent blocks on the east floor/wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT
U.S. Geological Survey
Monday, May 28, 2018, 10:59 p.m.

Avation 4091 feet
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Late in the afternoon of May  28, vigorous fountaining resumed at Fissure 8, spawning a fast-moving flow that moved north along Luana Street.

As of 10 p.m., the flow front had reached within 300 yards of Kahukai Street. The flow was traveling an estimated 20 yards per hour to the northeast.

An overflight early in the evening showed that Fissures 16, 18, 22,13 and 20 were active, with a flow moving south from Fissures 16 and 18.

Pele’s hair from vigorous fountaining of Fissure 8 is being transported downwind, and there are reports of some strands falling in Pāhoa. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to Pele’s hair (volcanic glass), which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Crews are also checking on the status of ground cracks on Highway 130.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade winds are forecast to return in the coming days, meaning vog will impact the southern and western sides of the island.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawai‘i County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea’s summit. Winds have weakened and shifted in direction so that ash fall could occur in communities around the summit area.

A magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred at 5:39 p.m. on the Koa‘e fault zone south of the caldera. Earthquakes in the summit region continue as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall under forecast wind conditons, please consult the Ash3D model output here.

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here.

Moonlight through ash. Renee Collins, Monday p.m., May 28, 2018

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