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VIDEO, PHOTOS: Puna Residents Advised to Stay Alert

July 11, 2018, 9:36 AM HST
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VIDEO: The backside of Fissure 8 from Luana Street, on the Malama side of Leilani Estates, July 9, 7 p.m. The cone is over 180 feet high. VC: Crystal Richard 

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, that Fissure 8 continues to be very active and is feeding a lava channel to the ocean at Kapoho.

Fissure 8 continues to erupt lava steadily into the perched channel leading northeastward from the vent. Disruptions to the mid-channel occurred Tuesday afternoon, producing localized overflows along the margins of the flow field, mostly atop earlier lavas.

A significant overflow north of the cinder quarry advancing on July 9 and 10 towards Cinder Road has stalled. An overflow lobe moving around the west side of Kapoho Cone remains active and small brushfires are reported along the margins.

The backside of Fissure 8 from Luana Street, on the Malama side of Leilani Estates on July 9, 2018, at 7:02 p.m. The cone is over 180 feet high. PC: Crystal Richard

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Downstream, lava appears to be reoccupying the channel leading to the ocean entry were multiple fingers of lava are active. The southern margin of the ocean entry shows little sign of movement.

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Tuesday’s channel disruption and overflows were caused by blockages that developed along the channel. Additional blockages and resulting overflows are likely to occur as long as the activity continues.

Fissure 22 continues to exhibit weak spattering. No other fissures are active.

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 meters (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.

Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960 and 2014-2015. PC: USGS

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HVO field crews are on site tracking activity as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted for several days.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high. Continuing trade wind conditions are expected to bring Vog to the southern and western parts of the Island of Hawai`i. Vog information can be found online.

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. The interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze,” a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that drifts downwind and can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs. Close to the ocean entry, flying debris from explosive interaction between lava and water is a primary hazard. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea.

USGS making night rounds, checking Fissure 8 and the channelized flows from the Y-intersection of Kapoho-Pohoiki Road, where an overflow occurred earlier in the day on July 9, 2018, at 8:41 p.m. PC: Crystal Richard.

Magma continues to be supplied to the Lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low although higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible at any time. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should remain informed and heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

The following policies remain in effect:

Kapoho Beach Lots and Four Corners area are closed to any access.

Residents are asked to be aware that spill overs of the channel and other breakouts are possible on the active flow field. There is no access to the active flow field due to extreme hazard.

The channelized flow coming from Fissure 8 crossing the bottom of Leilani Avenue on July 9, 2018, at 7:20 p.m. PC: Crystal Richard

Spillovers that occurred midday Monday, June 9, at the Y, covered areas previously impacted by lava. USGS is keeping a close eye on the changes in activity.

There is no immediate threat at this time, but everyone in the areas of active flows are reminded to be on alert, prepared for changes and plan for evacuation.

Pet and livestock owners are reminded to plan ahead for their animals’ evacuation.

Many animals are still being rescued in Leilani Estates and the isolated areas of Pohoiki and Kapoho.

If you need help evacuating animals, contact Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031 and Hawaii Island Humane Society at (808) 966-5458.

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