8 PM UPDATE: Eruption of Lava Continues

May 30, 2018, 8:11 AM HST (Updated May 31, 2018, 10:27 AM)
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Live Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Camera from Lower East Rift Zone [USGS/HVO PGcam] Last Updated 2018-05-30 10:25:04 (HST).

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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 8 p.m.

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.

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Fissure 8 maintained high fountains through Wednesday with sustained heights exceeding 200 feet and the presence of multiple secondary fountains that reached to 60 feet. This fountaining continued to feed a lava flow that moved downslope along Highway 132. Advance rates were less than 100 yards/hour for the three lobes of the flow. The flow moved north of Highway 132 in the vicinity of Noni Farms and Halekamahina roads, from which the two easternmost lobes advanced in a more east northeasterly direction while the westernmost lobe advanced in a northeasterly direction.

The Fissure 18 flow also remained active, moving downslope toward Highway 137 at rates of much less than 100 yards per hour. During the day, sporadic bursts of activity were also observed from Fissures 22, 6, and 13.

Pele’s hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling to the west of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds my waft lighter particles to greater distances. 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 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. Wind conditions for Wednesday, May 30, are forecast to result in widespread vog over the Island of Hawai‘i.

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. The National Weather Service observed an ash column rising to 12,000 ft at around 11 a.m. this morning but visibility was very poor on the ground and ground observers could confirm the event. Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Earthquake activity is elevated at the summit, with a few felt events reported overnight. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high and will combine with wind conditions to produce widespread vog across the Island of Hawai‘i on Wednesday.

6 p.m.

This is a Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Message for Wednesday, May 30 at 6 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that lava from several fissures continues to move through Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens and towards the Kapoho area. Residents of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate due to the possibility of lava cutting off access to Beach Road near Four Corners.  One lava flow is approximately 2.5 miles from Four Corners and a second is about a half-a-mile from Highway 137, north of Ahalanui County Park.

Click to enlarge

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

  • Beach Road, from Four Corners to Hawaiian Beaches, is restricted to resident access only, between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., to allow continued evacuations.
  • Highway 132 is closed.
  • Leilani Estates residents with approved credentials are allowed to enter at 7 a.m. but must leave by 6 p.m. This curfew is strictly enforced for your safety. A mandatory evacuation is in effect past Pomaikai Street.
  • Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.
  • Stay tuned to local radio stations for updates from Civil Defense.

Noon

Map as of 9 a.m., May 30, 2018.

Click to enlarge.

Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted—and could have changed rapidly since that time. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960 and 2014-2015.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that lava from several fissures continues to advance toward the Kapoho area.

Residents of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate. You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation of Beach Road near Four Corners.

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

  • Flows are estimated to be less than 1/2 mile from Highway 137, north of Ahalenui County Park. Beach
  • Road is restricted to resident traffic from Four Corners to Hawaiian Beaches to allow continued evacuations.
  • Cell phone and telephone landline communications in the Kapoho area have been severely limited due to downed power and telephone lines. Contact friends and relatives to make sure they’re safe.
  • Highway 132 is closed.
  • Stay tuned to local radio stations for updates from Civil Defense.

Due to changing conditions, the following is provided for your information:

  • The state Department of Health has received reports of children using N95 masks in school and outside. Be advised masks are not intended for use by children or infants. Reduce their exposure by keeping them inside.
  • High concentrations of SO2 are still present in the Leilani Estates area, where fissures continue to emit gasses.
  • Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.

A meeting to discuss vog and ash exposure is scheduled in the Ka‘ū District at the Robert Herkes Gym in Pahala at 5:30 in the evening.

11 a.m.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports the earthquake that occurred at approximately 10:57 a.m. was NOT large enough to cause a tsunami for the Island of Hawai‘i.

USGS VIDEO UPDATE: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

8 a.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that lava from several fissures continues to advance toward the Kapoho area.

Residents of Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate. You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation of Beach Road near Four Corners.

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

Map as of 6:00 p.m. HST, May 29, 2018. Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted—and could have changed rapidly since that time. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (Click to see larger map.)

  • Flows are advancing on Highway 137, approaching Beach Road. Beach Road is restricted to resident traffic from Four Corners to Hawaiian Beaches to allow continued evacuations.
  • Cell phone and telephone landline communications in the Kapoho area have been severely limited due to downed power and telephone lines. Contact friends and relatives to make sure they’re safe.
  • Highway 132 is closed.
  • Stay tuned to local radio stations for updates from Civil Defense.

Due to changing conditions, the following is provided for your information:

NE trade winds have returned and will continue to send vog toward Ocean View and Kona.

High concentrations of volcanic gasses are still present in the Leialani Estates area, where fissures continue to create high fountains of lava.

Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.

The Pāhoa Community Center, Kea‘au Community Center and Sure Foundation Church are open. The shelters are pet-friendly.

Pohoiki Road, May 29, 2018, at 11:52 a.m. PC: Crystal Richard

6 a.m, HVO

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that the lava flow from several fissures continues to advance toward the Kapoho area.

Residents in the Kapoho area including Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate. You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation of Beach Road near four corners.

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

  • Beach road is restricted to outbound traffic from four corners to Hawaiian Beaches to allow residents to evacuate.
  • Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.

The following is provided for your information:

Cell phone and telephone landline communications in the Kapoho area have been severely limited due to downed power and telephone lines.
Stay tuned to local radio stations for updates from Civil Defense.
The Department of Health has changed the venue for today’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.

A funnel cloud swirling off Fissure 8, 7:21 p.m., May 29, 2018, from the park on Moku Street in Leilani Estates. PC: Crystal Richard

Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 6:43 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 maintained high fountains throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, with sustained heights exceeding 200 feet and the presence of multiple secondary fountains that reached to 60 feet.

Ground covered in lava rocks and Pele’s Hair on Leilani Avenue, May 29 at 6 p.m. PC: Crystal Richard

This fountaining continued to feed a lava flow that moved downslope along Highway 132. Advance rates accelerated late Tuesday and early Wednesday, reaching approximately 600 yards/hour.

The flow moved north of Highway 132 in the vicinity of Noni Farms and Halekamahina roads, advancing along a steepest descent path that could take the flow to the Four Corners area.

The Fissure 18 flow also remained active, moving downslope toward Highway 137 at rates of less than 100 yards per hour. Overnight, sporadic bursts of activity were also observed from Fissures 7 and 15.

Pele’s hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling to the west of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds my waft lighter particles to greater distances. 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. Wind conditions for Wednesday, May 30, are forecast to result in widespread vog over the Island of Hawai‘i.

Ground covered in lava rocks and Pele’s Hair on Leilani Avenue, May 29 at 6 p.m. PC: Crystal Richard

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 Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

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

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea’s summit, but no small explosive events have been recorded since Tuesday morning. Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Earthquake activity is elevated at the summit, with a few events reported felt overnight. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high and will combine with wind conditions to produce widespread vog across the Island of Hawai‘i on Wednesday.

For forecasts of where ash would fall under forecast wind conditions, consult the Ash3D model output here:

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

Leilani Avenue covered in lava rocks and Pele’s Hair by Fissure 8, May 29, 2018, at 6:50 p.m. PC Crystal Richard

Wednesday, May 30, 1:30 a.m.

Hawaii Volcano Observatory reports that the lava flow near Highway 132 has gained speed and is now advancing rapidly. Due to this advance in speed, residents in the Kapoho area including Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are advised to evacuate. You are at risk of being isolated due to possible lava inundation of Beach Road near Four Corners. At the present rate of flow, it is possible that Beach Road near Four Corners may be blocked within 4 to 6 hours.

Shelters are open at the Pāhoa Community Center, Kea‘au Community Center and the Sure Foundation Church. Shelters are pet-friendly.

Tuesday, May 29, 9:30 p.m.

Residents on Noni Farms Road and Hale Kamahina road need to evacuate immediately due to a fast-moving lava flow.

Shelters are open at the Pāhoa Community Center, Kea‘au Community Center and the Sure Foundation Church. Shelters are pet-friendly.

MEDIA BRIEFING AUDIO FILE from May 29 below

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