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7 PM Update: CD Brief, 87 Homes Destroyed

June 1, 2018, 6:40 AM HST
* Updated June 1, 7:25 PM
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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.

Friday, June 1, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

At the 3 p.m. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense press briefing, it was reported that 87 homes have been destroyed as of Friday, June 1, compared to the count of 77 reported on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue in the lower East Rift Zone fissure system. Fissure 8 is very active and producing a large flow. The flow front has reached Highway 132 and is currently 0.5 miles from the Four Corners area. At the present rate, it is possible the flow may cross Government Beach Road near Four Corners within hours.

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Due to lava flowing toward the Four Corners area, the following policies are in effect:

  • Government Beach Road, between Kuna Street and Four Corners, is open to residents only with official credentials. There is no curfew.
  • All residents in Vacationland, Kapoho Beach Lots and in areas near Highway 137 are encouraged to evacuate, or risk the possibility of being isolated.
  • Shelters at the Kea‘au Community Center and the Sure Foundation Church were relocated to the Kea‘au Armory, behind Herbert Shipman Park off of Highway 11. The shelters at Pāhoa Community Center and Kea’au Armory are open and pet friendly.
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The Pāhoa Post Office is open during normal business hours with temporary Sunday hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for mail and package distribution only.

Friday, June 1, 2018, 1 p.m.

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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue on the east rift of Kilauea. Fissure 8 is very active and producing a large flow. As of 11 a.m. this morning, the flow front was still above the Four Corners area. At the present rate, it is possible the lava flow may cross Government Beach Road near Four Corners within hours.

Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Camera from Lower East Rift Zone [PGcam]
Last updated June 1, 2018, at 12:50 p.m.

Due to the rapid lava flow, the following policies are in effect for the Four Corners area (the intersection of Highway 132 and 137):

  • Residents in Vacationland, Kapoho Beach Lots and in areas near Highway 137 are advised to complete evacuation or risk isolation.
  • Traffic is flowing both ways to allow evacuation.
  • Shelters at the Kea’au Community Center and the Sure Foundation Church have been relocated to the Kea‘au Armory in the back of the Herbert Shipman Park, off of Highway 11. The shelter at Pāhoa Community Center remains open. The shelters are pet-friendly.

Leilani Estates east of Pomaikai Street is under mandatory evacuation order. All persons must clear the area now.

The Pāhoa Post Office will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to distribute mail and packages to evacuees and residents experiencing interruptions in mail delivery service.

1 p.m.: USGS HVO Update

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

Overnight, fountaining at Fissure 8 continued to feed a channelized lava flow to the northeast along Highway 132. Small overflows from the channel are occurring along its length, including in a few places near the intersection of Highway 132 and Pohoiki road. The advance rates of the distal part of the flow overnight were low as lava ponded in a flat area. In the last few hours, advance rates have picked up to about 100 yards/hour. As of 6:30 a.m. HST, the lava flow front was .84 miles above Four Corners (the intersection of Highway 132 and 137). Minor advancement occurred on other branches of the Fissure 8 lava flow.

Fissure 18 and its associated flow are weakly active with widely scattered lava breakouts. Fissure 22 is inactive.

Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds may 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.

1 p.m.

Effective Friday, June 1, 2018, the eruption evacuation shelters at the Kea‘au Community Center and the Sure Foundation Church are being consolidated and relocated.

The new location for the consolidated shelters will be at the Kea‘au Armory in the back of the Herbert Shipman Park, off of Highway 11.

For further information, contact Hawai‘i County Parks and Recreation at (808) 961-8311.

9 a.m.: Civil Defense Alert

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue on the east rift of Kīlauea.

Fissure 8 is very active and producing a large, fast-moving flow.

The flow front is half-mile above the Four Corners area and moving quickly. At the present rate, it is possible the lava flow may cross Government Beach Road near Four Corners within 7 to 10 hours.

Due to the rapid lava flow, the following policies are in effect for the Four Corners area:

Residents in Vacationland, Kapoho Beach Lots and in areas near Highway 137 are advised to evacuate now.

Traffic is flowing both ways to allow evacuation.

Residents should complete evacuation by 2 this afternoon, or risk the possibility of being isolated.

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

Due to the ongoing Kīlauea volcanic hazard, Civil Defense will not be participating in the monthly siren test. No sirens will sound on Hawai‘i Island today.

For your safety, heed warnings from Civil Defense officials and stay alert.

6 a.m.

A funnel cloud swirling off fissure 8. PC: Crystal Richard

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Breaches in the channel formed by the Fissure 8 flow can happen without notice and result in rapid moving flows. Everyone is advised to stay away from active volcanic areas.

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

The Hawai‘i Fire Department has evacuated residents in homes along Papaya Farms Road and Noni Farms Road. Any residents remaining should evacuate now.

For Kapoho, Vacationland and Government Beach Road, the following policy is in effect:

All residents of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots are advised to evacuate and complete their evacuation by 6. p.m., today, Friday, June 1, or risk the possibility of being isolated.

Due to the active volcanic eruptions, Mayor Harry Kim has issued a mandatory evacuation order for part of Leilani Estates.

The following policies are in effect:

    • Mandatory evacuation is for areas east of Pomaikai Street in Leilani Estates.
    • Residents have until noon, today, Friday, June 1 to evacuate the mandatory evacuation area.
    • Persons remaining in the mandatory evacuation area do so at their own risk with the knowledge that emergency responders may not be able to respond.
  • Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Camera from Lower East Rift Zone [PGcam]. Last updated 2018-06-01 6:50 a.m. This image is from a temporary research camera positioned near Kapoho looking southwest. From left to right, one can see the eruptive fissures, with Fissure 15 on the far left and Fissure 10 near the center.

Thursday, May 31, 2018, 10:43 PM HST
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.

Lava from fissure 8 advances on Kahukai Street. Lava in this area is as much as 3.5 yards in height. PC: USGS HVO

Fissure 8 is continuing to produce persistent fountains that are reaching heights of up to 260 feet.

A small spatter cone is forming on the downwind side of the fountain and is approximately 100 feet high.

The fountains are feeding a major flow field heading north through Leilani Estates and then to the northeast along the course of Highway 132. Minor overflows from the margins of the channel are occurring along its length.

The front of the Fissure 8 flow is advancing through agricultural lands and had crossed Railroad Avenue by 7:30 p.m.

Ground and UAS crews are in the area closely monitoring the progress of the Fissure 8 flow front. At 9:53 p.m., the flow front was approximately 1.1 miles from the Four Corners area (the intersection of Highways 132 and 137).

The Fissure 18 flow that advanced to within .5 miles of Highway 137 has stagnated. The new flow that branches from the same channel 1.5 miles upslope appears to have captured most of the lava output from Fissure 18. It is descending downslope just to the south of the previous flow.

Fissure 22 is weakly active, and lava is pooling around the vent.

Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds may 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.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade wind conditions are bringing vog to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawaii.

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. Seismicity at the summit remain low with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor.

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. 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 many small events. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

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 (other impacts).

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