News

5:30 PM: County Escorts Only When Conditions are Safe

June 20, 2018, 5:24 PM HST
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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” sectionPrevious information about ongoing events can be found in Big Island Now’s “Volcano Blog” section

CLICK HERE FOR JUNE 20 INTERACTIVE MAP

KĪLAUEA SUMMIT LIVESTREAM LINK

5:30 p.m.: County Escorts Only When Conditions are Safe

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U.S. Geological Survey (5:04 p.m.)

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The eruption in the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) continues with little change.

Live Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Camera from Lower East Rift Zone [PGcam]
Last Updated June 20, 2018, at 5:20 p.m.

Lava fountains from the Fissure 8 spatter cone continue to feed the established channel that transports lava to the ocean at the Kapoho coastline with one main entry area active at the south end of the flow front at the ocean. Upslope, short-lived overflows occur periodically but generally do not travel beyond the existing flow field. Fissures 6 and 16 appeared to be only fuming during our early afternoon overflight.

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Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at Fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, dusting the ground within a few hundred yards of the vent. High 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.

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Message (5:07 p.m.)

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that Fissure 8 continues to erupt with a full channel flowing to the ocean in one major entry. Fissures 6, 15 and 16 continue producing minor spattering. Trade winds are expected to return tomorrow pushing vog away to the southwest toward Ka‘ū and Kona.

The East Rift Zone Eruption has generated immense interest from the public, the media and from cultural practitioners. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense has the following policies in place.

  • Leilani Estates, west of Pomaikai Street is only open to residents with official credentials
  • Leilani Estates, residents who live east of Pomaikai Street can contact Civil Defense to schedule an escort to retrieve important documents and vital belongings. These escorts only happen when conditions are safe.
  • Government Beach Road is open to Papaya Farms Road.

2:30 p.m.: FEMA does not require a letter from the County

Residents who have been affected by the ongoing Puna eruption should register for individual assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), regardless of whether they have a letter from the County stating their damages or costs stemming from the disaster.

Geologist makes early morning observations of the lava fountain and channelized flow at fissure 8 in Leilani Estates.

“FEMA does not require a letter from the County in order to register” according to Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn. “Whether a resident has a letter or not is of no consequence as to whether a person can register with FEMA.”

The County of Hawai’i may issue letters to residents whose homes have been destroyed or are not accessible.  A copy of that letter can be provided to FEMA, according to Mayor’s Office Executive Assistant Roy Takemoto.

Once a person registers with FEMA, the agency will assess the information provided by the applicant.  If an applicant has a letter from the County attesting that the property is totally destroyed or is not accessible, the letter may be added to the applicants’ file.

In cases where the home is accessible, FEMA will assign an inspector to coordinate an inspection with the home owner, to evaluate the extent of the damages and the home’s habitability.  After that, along with the other information in the file, FEMA will make a determination as to eligibility.

Map as of 11 a.m., June 20, 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. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960 and 2014-2015.

Wednesday June 20, 2018, 6 a.m.: Fissures 6, 15 & 16 Produce Minor Spattering

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that Fissure 8 continues to erupt with a full channel flowing to the ocean with two ocean entries. Fissures 6, 15 and 16 are producing minor spattering.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also reports that a steam explosion occurred at the Kīlauea Summit at 4:22 this morning. Be aware of ash fallout in Ka‘ū.

The National Weather Service reports that continuing today, winds will push volcanic emissions into the interior of the Big Island, including over Hilo, northern parts of the island and wrapping around to the west. SO2 and Pele’s Hair may become an issue in Pāhoa and possibly into the Hawaiian Acres area. Trade winds are expected to build by Thursday.

As of today, 894 people have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance either on line or at the Disaster Recovery Center or DRC. The DRC is one of many resources that continue to be available to residents of Hawai‘i County who suffered damage or losses from the Kīlauea volcanic eruption and recent earthquakes.

The DRC at the Kea‘au High School Gym is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Hawai’i Department of Health will be holding Volcanic Ash and Vog Community Meetings today and tomorrow.

Today’s meeting is at Konawena Elementary School in Kealakekua beginning at 5 p.m.

Tomorrow’s meeting is at Waikaloa Elementary & Middle School Cafeteria beginning at 6 p.m.

Tropic Care 2018 continues today with free medical, dental and eye care at Kea‘au High School from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

4:30 a.m.: Summit Explosion Produces Ash Plume, No Tsunami

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an explosive eruption at Kīlauea summit has occurred at 4:22 a.m. The resulting ash plume may affect the surrounding areas. The wind may carry the ash plume to the southwest toward Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View.

The danger from this eruption is ash fallout. The major response is to protect yourself from fallout.

If you are at home, stay indoors with the windows closed. Turn on your radio and listen for updates from authorities.

If you are in your car, keep the windows closed. Ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions, due to limited visibility and slippery driving conditions. Drive with extreme caution, or pull over and park.

After the hazard has passed, do check your home, and especially your catchment system for any impact that may affect your water quality.

4:22 a.m. TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1

A SEISMIC EVENT HAS OCCURRED NEAR THE SUMMIT OF KĪLAUEA VOLCANO.

THE EVENT IS LIKELY ASSOCIATED WITH A SUMMIT ERUPTION.

ITS PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS ARE:

ORIGIN TIME – 0422 AM HST 20 JUN 2018
COORDINATES – 19.4 NORTH 155.3 WEST
LOCATION – IN THE SUMMIT REGION OF KILAUEA VOLCANO
MAGNITUDE – 5.2

NO TSUNAMI IS EXPECTED; HOWEVER, SOME AREAS MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED STRONG SHAKING

About the cover photo:

Fissure 8 vigor increased overnight on June 18 and 19 with lava fountains reaching up to 200 feet. Spatter built up the cone to the east and into the channel. In this photograph, spatter lands on the east cone and flows downward. PC: USGS HVO

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