New Fissure Appears This Morning; Ash Being Carried Across Kaʻū

May 7, 2018

Credit Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of USGS / Wikimedia Commons

A total of 20 fissures have appeared since May 3rd in Leilani Estates. The eruption has destroyed at least 25 homes, and lava has covered more than 115 acres of land. As of Friday, officials say the activity at the fissures have paused for now, but they are still releasing hazardous gases.

For the latest information from Civil Defense, click here.

For earthquake information from the USGS, click here.

For a map of of active fissures, subdivisions, and road blocks, click here.

For details on the intrusion and volcanic activity, click here.

For details of health hazards of volcanic ash and guidelines for preparedness before, during and after an ashfall, click here.

UPDATE 5/15/18 2:55 PM

The state Department of Transportation announced that Highway 130 is now open beyond Malama Street for local residents only. The Hawaiʻi Police Department is requesting no large trailers or heavy equipment be taken over the metal plates.

The Hawaiʻi Fire Department says the air quality is still CONDITION RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition Red means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure.

Severe conditions may exist, such as chocking and inability to breathe.

1:40 PM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports eruption activity continues in Lower Puna with fissure 20 opening early this morning. The narrow lava flow from fissure 17 is the only active flow at this time. It has slowed down considerably and is moving about 20 years per hour toward the ocean - about 1.2 miles from Highway 137. There are no homes or roads threatened at this time.

The observatory also reports a steady eruption of ash coming form Halemaʻumaʻu Crater is causing ash to fall downwind across portions of Kaʻū District. Ash is being reported along Highway 11 to Pahala.

11 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports rock falls and gas explosions within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater have caused an ash plume which is carrying ash downstream across the Kaʻū District. Ash is being reported along Highway 11 Pahala.

County officials are asking residents to:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant.
  • Those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.
  • Drive with caution.

7 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure has opened in the Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision northeast from fissure 19.  The narrow lava flow from fissure 17 is still moving slowly toward the ocean at approximately 20 yards per hour. There are no homes or roads threatened at this time.

The state Department of Transportation is working to reopen the Keaʻau-Pāhoa Road (Highway 130) from Malama Street to Kamaili Road this morning for local traffic only. Motorists are advised to drive with cuation as metal plates will be placed over the cracks on the roadway. DOT and County personnel will be stationed along the route to ensure the roadway is safe for local traffic.

Hazardous emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas from the fissures continue. The gas is dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems. SO2 can be carried with wind, or, cover an area with no wind. Residents of Lower Puna are advised to be on the alert for gas emissions.

Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pāhoa High School. Only local traffic is allowed beyond all roadblocks.

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5/14/18 4:50 PM

The Hawaiʻi County Fire Department reports that fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens are releasing high levels of Sulfur Dioxide gas at this time. Residents in the area and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road near Lanipuna Gardens are advised the air quality is condition RED.

Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. This is a serious situation that affects the entire exposed population.

County officials want to remind residents that:

Due to the toxic gas hazard in the affected area, that:

  • Leaving the area of SO2 inundation is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
  • Seek medical attention if severely affected.

12:45 PM

The state Department of Health reports the current eruption activity is producing dangerous of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas and other emissions that are hazardous; especially for elderly, young children and babies and individuals with respiratory problems. People who are downwind or close to the vents and lava flows are also at high risk. Health officials are advising those in the area to be aware of the unpredictable nature of dangerous levels of SO2 gas because it can be carried far from the fissures with wind speed and direction.

Health officials would like to remind residents that leaving the area of volcanic activity or shelternig in place is the best way to protect yourself and your family.

Take precautions. When levels of vog are elevated:

  • Avoid outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke
  • Stay indoors and close windows and doors prior to gas inundation
  • If an air conditioner is used, set it to recirculate
  • Always keep medications on hand and readily available
  • Daily prescribed medications, should be taken on schedule and may provide relief from the effects of sulfur dioxide
  • And contact a doctor as soon as possible if any health problems develop.

You can monitor vog levels and forecasts, here: https://vog.ivhhn.org/

8:30 AM

At 7:25 AM, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported another fissure has opened between fissure 15 and 16. You can find a map of the fissure locations, here: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-lava-map​

7 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is reporting that fissure 17 continues to be active. A narrow lava flow has been generated and is slowly moving toward the ocean, which is about two miles away. There are no homes or road threatened at this time.

County officials say Keonepoko Elementary, Pahoa High, Intermediate and Elementary Schools are open. And normal school bus routes are operating today.

Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School. Only local traffic is allowed beyond all roadblocks.

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5/13/18 1 PM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that Fissure 17 off Halekamahina Loop Road is at least several hundred yards long and producing lava spatter. Several reports say the fissure is at least 1,000 long, and has claimed another structure. Lava is slowly moving away from the vent at this time. This newest fissure is on private property, do not trespass.

The Observatory says continued earthquake activity and additional outbreaks in the area are likely.

Hawaiʻi County is reporting the closures of the following roads:

  • Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection. Only local traffic allowed on Highway 132 (Pahoa-Kapoho Road) and Highway 137 (Beach Road).
  • Highway 130 is closed at the intersection of Highway 132. Only local traffic allowed into Leilani Subdivision. Highway 130 remains closed between Malama Street and Kama’ili Road.
  • No one is allowed to go off-road sightseeing. Stay out of the active eruption area. Allow the residents to care for their business.

Resident of Halekamahina Road are ordered to evacuate and be on the alert for gas emissions and lava spatter.

The County is advising residents of Lower Puna to take this time prepare for a possible evacuation. The County is also directing vacation rentals in Lower Puna to cease operations to relieve the demand for water as well as reduce the area population so emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the area.

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restriction for lower Puna. No helicopter or drone activity is allowed without approval.

7:30 AM

Hawaiʻi County's Department of Public Works and HPD have verified reports of a new fissure to the west, or Kalapana side, of Highway 132 on Halekamahina Loop Road. Steam and lava spatter activity has started from this new fissure.

County officials are ordering residents of Halekamahina Loop Road to evacuate. The Pāhoa Community Center and Keaʻau Community Center are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet-friendly.

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5/12/18 7 PM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure, number 17, is opening up about 100 meters below fissure 16.  At this time, steam and lava spatter activity has started from this new fissure.

Minor spattering activity from fissure 16 is diminishing and no significant lava flow was issued from this area.

In addition, HVO has cautioned about the possibility of an explosive eruption at Halema’uma’u Crater due to the ongoing withdrawal of lava from Kilauea summit lake. This could generate dangerous debris very near the crater and ashfalls up to tens of miles downwind.

10 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure has appeared in the Lower East Rift Zone. Lava spatter was reported east of the geothermal plant property and northeast of the Lanipuna Subdivision. Continuing earthquakes, ground deformation, and sulfur dioxide emissions mean additional outbreaks of lava area possible.

The Observatory states that an explosive eruption at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater is possible. This could generate ash plumes and dangerous debris that may affect an area as far as 12 miles from the summit crater.

Civil Defense is still advising residents of  Lower Puna between Kapoho and Kalapana are advised to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption. There may be little to no advance notice to evacuate, so take this time to prepare.

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5/11/18 5 PM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has cautioned about the possibility of an explosive eruption at Halemaumau.

This is caused by the withdrawal of lava from Halemaumau’s summit lake, which leads to a steam-driven eruption. Such an eruption could generate ash plumes as high as 20,000 feet.  The area affected by ash plumes could be as wide as 12 miles.

Should this occur, the following are advised:

  • The danger from this eruption is ash fallout. The major response is to protect yourself from fallout.
  • If this event occurs while 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 is passed, do check your home, and especially your catchment system, for any impact that may affect your water quality.

This is precautionary information for your safety in the event that there is a Halemaumau explosive event.  We want everyone in the Volcano area to be ready, and to remain safe.  Do keep yourself informed and on the alert.

1:45 PM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the East Rift Zone intrusion and seismic activity appears to be moving down-rift in a northeast direction. Hazardous fumes continue to be released from existing cracks and fissures, but no lava activity is occurring at this time.

As a precautionary measure, County officials are advising residents of Lower Puna between Kapoho and Kalapana to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption. Because there may be little to no advance notice to evacuate, the county is advising residents to be prepared to evacuate at short notice. Take this time to prepare.

If you do evacuate voluntarily, the Pahoa Community Center and Kea'au Community Center are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet-friendly. This is a precautionary message.

All beach parks in Lower Puna have been closed, including the Pohoiki Boat Ramp.

Due to the anticipated steam-induced explosion at the summit of Kīlauea, the Federal Aviation Administration has granted a Temporary Flight Restriction over Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The TFR extends 20,000 feet AGL and a 12 nautical mile radius around Kīlauea's summit.

Most of the park is closed, except for the Kahuku Unit, until further notice.

7 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports all fissures continue to release hazardous gases, but no volcanic activity is present at this time.

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5/10/18 6:15 PM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that all fissures continue to release hazardous gases, but no volcanic activity is present at this time.

County officials estimate more than 117 acres of land are covered by lava. But no other structures have been destroyed.

3 PM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says all 15 fissures have paused, but toxic fumes are still being released from the vents.

Earlier today, Governor David Ige signed a Presidential Disaster Declaration request, asking President Trump to declare the state a major disaster as a result of the ongoing seismic activity and volcanic eruption on Hawaii Island.

Since May 3, the state and Hawaii County have dedicated more than $400,000 in emergency protective measures for the lava flow and earthquakes in Kilauea's East Rift Zone. State officials believe the cost to protect residents over the next 30 days is expected to be more than $2.9 million. These costs do not include permanent work or damages incurred from the earthquakes, and costs will skyrocket should large-scale air and sea evacuations become necessary.

10:50 AM

Civil Defense confirms tons of the flammable pentane gas stored at the Puna Geothermal Venture facility have been moved off-site.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announced most of the park will be closed tomorrow due to the possibility of an explosive steam event and ash fall at the summit of Kilauea Volcano. Only the Kahuku Unit will be open during its normal hours, Friday through Sunday, 9 AM to 3 PM.

7 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that all 15 fissures have paused, but hazardous gases continue to be released from the vents.

Below, aerial footage of the lava flow shot by the Department of Defense.

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5/9/18 3:15 PM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms a new fissure has appeared in Lanipuna Subdivision near the entrance and is actively erupting. Officials are on site assessing the situation. Hazardous fumse continue to be released.

There are 15 total fissures, approximately 116.5 acres are covered by lava and 36 structures destroyed.

County officials say there are no threates to Nanawale Estates at this time.

No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.

Spectrum has installed free Wi-FI access at: Keaau Community Center, Pāhoa Community Center, Pāhoa Senior Center, Recovery Information and Assistance Center at Sacred Hearts Church, and the Food/Supply Center at the corner of Highway 130 and 132.

The Hawaii National Guard will be in the area conducting presence patrols to provide assistance and security in the area.

The Kalapana Transfer Station is closed until further notice. The closure is due to the inability of the county's commercial vehicles to safely access the site. The public can continue to use the Pāhoa Transfer Station, located in Pāhoa Village and open 7 days a week, from 6 AM to 6 PM.

The Department of Water Supply has issued an emergency water restriction for the Pohoiki, Vacationland and Kapoho area due to the impacts to the bypass waterline caused by the latest fissure event. Water spigots are installed near the netrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker in Vacationland are still available for the public to access.

1:30 PM

A 15th fissure is being reported to have appeared in Leilani Estates. 

The administrator of Hawaiʻi County's Civil Defense believes 26 of the 36 structures destroyed are homes. He added the pentane stored at the Puna Geothermal Venture facility will be moved.

7 AM

Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense reports all 14 fissures have paused for now, but are still releasing hazardous gases.

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5/8/18 7 PM

Vent number 13, near the intersection of Leilani Avenue and Kahukai Road, and Vent number 14, near Kaupili St. and Leilani Avenue, have both have paused but continue to release hazardous gases.

2:37 PM

County officials have confirmed with HPR that ANY REMAINING RESIDENTS OF LANIPUNA GARDENS MUST EVACUATE NOW. More details to come.

Two more fissures appeared this afternoon, bringing the total number of fissures to 14. The two new fissures are near the intersection of Leilani Avenue and Kahukai Street, and between Kaupili and Hoʻokupu Streets.

The other 12 fissures have remained inactive since last night.

2 PM

Several reports indicate two new eruptions have occurred, and at least one more house has been destroyed.

Below is a video taken by the USGS yesterday of fissure #12 in the forest south of Malama Street.

And here's a video taken last night by the USGS of the Halemaʻumaʻu's lava lake, which has dropped more than 220 meters (240 yards) below the crater rim, and continues to drop.

9:20 AM

Civil Defense says the East Rift Zone eruption in Leilani Subdivision continues. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms volcanic activity has paused at all 12 fissures. Hazardous fumes continue to be released. The lava has covered approximately 104 acres and destroyed 35 structures.

Authorities are allowing Leilani Estates residents to check on their property from 7 AM to 6 PM each day until further notice. County officials are telling residents to follow the instructions of the authorities on scene, and be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.

Highway 130 is still closed between Malama Street and Kamaili Road. And Pohoiki Road remains closed from Highway 132 to Hinalo Street.

Civil Defense has established the Recovery Information and Assistance Center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pāhoa, Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Entry placard registration for residents wishing to retrieve personal items will be issued at RIAC throughout the week.

More information on donations, volunteer opportunities, frequently asked questions, lost/found pets, and other resources can be found here: http://www.punalavaflow2018.com

The state Department of Health is working on updating its Sulfur Dioxide data reporting online. The Hawaii Interagency Vog Information Dashboard can be found here: http://ivhhn.org/vog

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5/7/18 6 PM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms volcanic activity has subsided at all 12 fissures, but hazardous fumes continues.

Hawaii County officials would like to remind residents of Leilani Estates that they will be allowed to check on their property from 7 AM to 6 PM each day until further notice - conditions permitting. Follow the instructions of the authorities on scene, and be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases. Puna Geothermal Venture reports no activity at this time and the facility is secured. Precautionary measures are being taken to remove flammable materials offsite.

Civil Defense has created a permit system for residents to streamline the re-entry/retrieval process.
Credit Kuuwehi Hiraishi

Civil Defense has also established a community information center at Sacred Hearts Church in Pāhoa, Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Entry placard registration for residents wishing to retrieve personal items will be issued throughout the week at the center.

Hawai‘i Electric Light would like to remind residents to treat all downed lines as live. Under no circumstances are you to approach or touch downed lines.

The Department of Water Supply has confirmed that water repairs on Pohoiki Road are complete, and the water line is currently being recharged. A water truck for public use is still available, and located near the Vactionland mailboxes.

United States Postal Service announced that evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pāhoa Post Office.

The Hawai‘i County Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office have established a policy of zero tolerance towards looting or vandalism. Under Emergency Provisions, any looting or vandalism will be treated as a felony.

3 PM

Two new fissures have emerged south of Malama Street in Leilani Estates emitting lava and gas. That brings the total number of active fissures to 12. The number of damaged structures remains the same at 35.

County officials have closed Highway 130 between Malama Street and Kamaili Road, and closed Pohoiki Road from 132 to Hinalo Street.

Tonight's community meeting will be televised on Na Leo TV, you can stream it live here: http://naleo.tv/

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Insurance Division is advising residents of Leilani Estates and the surrounding area to contact their insurance companies fo coverage questions and applicable policy provisions. Those impacted by the mandatory evacuations, fire, smoke or noxious fumes may be able to start a claim.

Consumers should inform their insurer of any damages or that they may be unable to access their home or business. The policy may require a notification to the insurer within a certain timeframe. Officials advise residents to keep detailed notes of any conversations, and to not be afraid to ask questions. More information can be found here: http://cca.hawaii.gov/ins/resources

Administrators with the University of Hawaii - Hilo will still hold its Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 12th, 9 AM  at the Edith Kanaka`ole Stadium. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. for registered ADA guests, and 8 a.m. for the general public.

11:30 AM

County officials are holding a community meeting tonight at the Pāhoa High School cafeteria at 5:30 PM. Civil Defense has also established a community information center at Sacred Hearts Church in Pāhoa, Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM.

Highway 130 is closed between Malama Street and Kamailia Road.

8:11 AM

The volcanic eruption in Lower Puna's Leilani Subdivision continues. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms that active venting of lava and hazardous fumes continue in Leilani Estates. Since last Thursday, a total of 10 fissures have emerged, and 35 structures have been destroyed.

Hawaiʻi County officials will allow Leilani Estate residents, conditions permitting, to check on their property from 7 AM to 6 PM each day until further notice. Officials are advising residents to follow the instructions of the authorities on scene and be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

The County is not allowing access to Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.

The Hawaiʻi County Police Department and Prosecutor's Office have established a policy of zero tolerance towards looting or vandalism. Under Emergency Provisions, any looting or vandalism will be treated as a felony.

Hawaiian Electric Company is working to try to keep power online. Residents should treat all downed lines as live, and under no circumstances should residents approach or touch downed lines.

The Department of Water Supply is working to establish a temporary bypass waterline to restore water service to teh areas of Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. Water Supply officials will send further updates on this progress. In the meantime, the department has a water truck available for public use near the Vacationland mailboxes.

The Department of Education announced Pahoa High, Intermediate and Elementary schools will be open today. Kua O Ka La, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, Nawahiokalaniopuʻu and Ke Anan Laʻahana are closed today.

Video taken on Saturday, May 5 by the USGS and University of Hawaii.

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5/6/18 7:40 PM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms that active venting of lava and hazardous fumes continues in Leilani Estates Subdivision. Since the onset of this eruption, a total of 10 fissures have emerged, and 26 homes have been destroyed.

Several reports indicate an 11th fissure has appeared in Leilani Estates.

1:45 PM

Hawaiʻi Civil Defense officials say at least 21 homes have been destroyed by volcanic activity in Leilani Estates.

8:40 AM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms 2 more fissures emerged between Leilani and Malama Street near Luana and Kupono Street last night, bringing the total number of fissures to 9 at this time. Active venting of lava and hazardous fumes continues between Mohala and Pomaika’i Street. Click the link to the map

It is confirmed that at this time, at least 9 homes have been destroyed.

Conditions permitting, Leilani Estates residents with property between Highway 130 and Maile Street will be allowed to enter the subdivision to complete evacuation of pets, medicine, and vital documents left behind between the hours of 8 AM to 6 PM. Residents should retrieve their items expeditiously so others may go in after them.

Be aware of the very unstable conditions of air quality and of the roads.  You will be required to leave the area if conditions become hazardous.

Residents will be required to provide identification and proof of residency in Leilani Subdivision.  Primary Police checkpoint is established at Highway 130 and 132. A secondary checkpoint is at Highway 130 and Leilani Street.

Leilani residents entering must be on the alert for elevated levels of Sulfur Dioxide, wildfire, and volcanic eruption. People with respiratory problems are especially vulnerable.

No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.

Please, the residents of Leilani need your help by staying out of the area. This is not the time for sightseeing.

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5/5/2018 3:45 PM

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports all eight fissures in Leilani Estates have "gone quiet." But county officials don't believe this event is done.

1:00 PM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and field units confirm that the volcanic eruption activities continue in Leilani Subdivision. At this time eruptive activity is increasing and is expected to continue.

Multiple sources confirm five buildings in Leilani Estates have been destroyed.

HELCO reports that power has been interrupted to the Leilani Estates Subdivision due to lava affecting power lines. HELCO crews are standing by and monitoring the situation.  Updates will be provided as information becomes available.

The Department of Water Supply has issued an emergency water status for all areas ocean side of Leilani Estates.  This is due to the main water lines being impacted by lava activity. All residences in the Kapoho area will be affected by this water shortage.  Water spigots have been installed near the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker has been placed in Vacationland for public access.

11:30 AM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms the volcanic eruption continues in Leilani Subdivision in the Puna District. Active volcanic vents are located on Makamae, Kaupili, Mohala, Kahukai Streets and Pohoiki Road. Two new vents have opened near Makamae and Leilani, and on Kahukai Street. There is no activity at Puna Geothermal Venture at this time.

All residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision are on evacuation notice. Police, Fire and County agencies along with the National Guard are assisting with evacuation.

Department of Water Supply has expanded its Emergency Water Restriction to include: is now in effect for Pohoiki Bay Estates, Green Lake Farm Lots, Vacationland and all customers on Pohoiki and Kalapana Kapoho Beach Roads. ALL Water Supply customers must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs only.

8:25 AM

A reported seventh and eighth fissure have appeared in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna. The seventh near Leilani Avenue and Kahukai Road. And the eighth close to the Puna Geothermal Venture.

All residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision are on evacuation notice. Police, Fire and County agencies along with the National Guard are assisting with evacuation.

The Department of Water Supply has issued an Emergency Water Restriction for Leilani Estates, Nānāwale Estates, Kapoho and Lanipuna Gardens. ALL Water Supply customers must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs only.

Hawaiʻi Fire Department reports extremely dangerous conditions due to high levels of Sulfur Dioxide gas in the evacuation area. Elderly, young, and people with compromised respiratory systems are especially vulnerable. 

The high levels detected are an immediate threat to life for all who become exposed. First responders may not be able to come to the aid of residents who refuse to evacuate. The area continues to be unstable with multiple volcanic eruptions happening. No one is allowed into the area.  Do not attempt to return to your home at this time. 

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5/4/2018 4:45 PM

Civil Defense has issued a water restriction for Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, Kapoho and Lanipuna Gardens. Customers must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs only.

FROM CIVIL DEFENSE

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms the volcanic eruption continues in Leilani Subdivision in the Puna District. Active volcanic vents are located on Makamae, Kaupili and Mohala Streets. New vents have opened near Kahukai and Pohoiki Road. There is no activity at Puna Geothermal Venture at this time. PGV is secured.

All residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision are on evacuation notice. Police, Fire and County agencies along with the National Guard are assisting with evacuation.

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

·         Department of Water Supply reports an Emergency Water Restriction is now in effect for Leilani Estates, Nānāwale Estates, Kapoho and Lanipuna Gardens. ALL Water Supply customers must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs only.

·         A community meeting will be held tonight at Pahoa High School Cafeteria at 5:30 PM. Information will be shared about the status of the volcanic activity in Leilani Estates.

·         United States Postal Service announced that evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pahoa Post Office. In addition, the downtown Hilo Post Office is closed until further notice due to structural damage from today’s earthquake.

·         Hawaii Fire Department reports extremely dangerous air quality conditions due to high levels of Sulfur Dioxide gas in the evacuation area. Elderly, young, and people with compromised respiratory systems are especially vulnerable.

·         The high levels detected are an immediate threat to life for all who become exposed. First responders may not be able to come to the aid of residents who refuse to evacuate.

·         The area continues to be unstable with multiple volcanic eruptions happening. No one is allowed into the area.  Do not attempt to return to your home at this time.  

·         All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions have been placed on evacuation status.  The Pahoa Community Center is available as a pet friendly shelter, and the Kea’au Community Center has been established as an alternative pet friendly evacuation center farther away for those sensitive to vog.  Call Civil Defense at 935-0031 for any emergency needs.

·         Residents evacuating should bring an emergency evacuation supply kit including necessary medicine, food, and necessary items for your comfort if possible.

County, State and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

3:00 PM

The Department of Transportation has closed Highway 130 between the Highway 132 intersection and south of Leilani Estates. Motorists should use Route 137 (Kalapana-Kapoho Road) and Route 132 as an alternative route.

Hawaiʻi County Police have closed the highway due to a high number of people on the side of the raod and the potential exposure to toxic sulfur dioxide.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has also closed the remaining portions of the park due to recent seismic activity.

University of Hawaiʻi - Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College (Manono campus) have both closed. Hawaiʻi CC's Pālamanui campus remains open at this time.

1:00 PM

The U.S. Geological Service has upgraded the last earthquake strength to 6.9 magnitude.

Earlier, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported a 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred around South Flank of Kilauea at 12:33 PM. There is no tsunami threat. Civil Defense does not have a depth of the earthquake yet.

Listeners in Kailua-Kona have reported feeling the earthquake.

Sources have confirmed two more fissures have opened up today. Fissure #5 opened up at 11:33 AM after the 5.3 magnitude earthquake occurred. It is located a Kaopili and Leilani Streets in Leilani Estates. Fissure #4 opened up at at Kahukai and Leilani Streets earlier this morning.

11:47 AM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports a 5.6 magnitude earthquake occurred at 11:33 AM off the south flank of Kīlauea Volcano. There is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi Island.

General Assignment reporter Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi, who is on the Big Island, said she did not feel the earthquake, but heard that it was felt at the Hilo Airport.

Civil Defense told Kuʻuwehi a fourth fissure has not appeared, but a fissure was widened because of the earthquake.

10 AM

The Federal Aviation Administration has placed flight restrictions for aircraft and drones surrounding Kilauea Volcano. Those violating these restrictions could be subject to a large fine if interfering with emergency operations. More information can be found here: http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_0382.html

9:00 AM

Lava Flow map for May 4, 2018
Credit USGS

Civil Defense confirms two more fissures have opened up in Leilani Estates. The second opened up at around 1:30 AM and the third at around dawn. The third fissure is being considered the more dangerous one, because high amounts of toxic sulfur dioxide gas is being expelled.

Sources tell HPR News that the lava is ponding, not flowing. And a majority of residents in Leilani Estates have evacuated, but evacuation procedures are continuing today.

County officials have evacuated residents in Lanipuna due to fingers of lava approaching the nearby Puna Geothermal Venture facility.

Residents began were arriving at the emergency shelters overnight. County officials say they will be providing three meals a day to those affected.

Civil Defense has confirmed a utility pole and a house have been destroyed by the lava. Officials are working to confirm reports of a second home being destroyed or damaged by lava.

County officials are emphasizing residents in Nanawale Estates and the coastal area of Kapoho to still be alert and stay informed. 

6:30 AM

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms the volcanic eruption continues in Leilani Subdivision in the Puna District.

Active volcanic vents are erupting on Makamae and Mohala Streets, all Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision residents are ordered to evacuate immediately.

Police, Fire and County agencies along with the National Guard are assisting with evacuation.

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

  • Kua O Ka La Charter School, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, Keonepoko Elementary and Pahoa High, Intermediate, and Elementary will be closed today.
  • Hawaii Fire Department reports extremely high levels of dangerous Sulfur Dioxide gas detected in the evacuation area. Elderly, young, and people with respiratory issues need to comply with the mandatory evacuation order and leave the area.
  • All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions are required to evacuate.  The Pahoa Community Center and the Kea’au Community Center are open for shelter. 
  • Residents evacuating should bring an emergency evacuation supply kit including necessary medicine, food, and necessary items for your comfort if possible.
  • The Hawaii Police Department reminds the public that a temporary flight restriction is in place for most of lower Puna. Drones can be confiscated in the Temporary Flight Restriction Area (TFR). More at tfr.faa.gov
  • Pohoiki Road is closed from the intersection at Highway 132 down to Highway 137 to allow evacuation efforts to proceed.
  • Puna Geothermal Venture power production is suspended until further notice.

Hawaii County Civil Defense, Police, Fire and partners continue to assist evacuation efforts and monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

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5/3/2018 8:30 PM

Gov. David Ige has signed an emergency proclamation. This proclamation authorizes the expenditure of state monies as appropriated for quick and efficient relief caused by the volcanic eruption. The governor’s emergency proclamation follows Hawai‘i County’s emergency proclamation filed earlier this afternoon.

Reports of lava flowing onto streets in the subdivision, which consists of about 770 structures, has prompted the mandatory evacuation of about 1,700 residents of Leilani Estates. Residents are being sheltered at Pāhoa Community Center and Kea‘au Community Center.

“I am in contact with Mayor Harry Kim and Hawai‘i County, and the state is actively supporting the county’s emergency response efforts. I have also activated the Hawai‘i National Guard to support county emergency response teams with evacuations and security,” said Gov. Ige.

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

  • All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions are required to evacuate.
  • The Pahoa Regional Community Center (15-3022 Kauhale St.) near the new Pahoa Regional park is open for shelter.
  • Keaau Community Center (16-186 Pili Mua St.) is open for additional shelter needs.
  • Residents evacuating should ensure to bring your emergency evacuation supply kit including necessary medicine, food, and necessary items for your comfort if possible.
  • The intersection at Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road is now closed to allow evacuation efforts to proceed.
  • Puna Geothermal Venture is executing their emergency plan and starting to shut down operations at this time.
  • Avoid travel to the evacuation area for everyone's safety.

Hawaii County Civil Defense, Police, Fire and partners continue to assist evacuation efforts and monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

6:50 PM

Acting Mayor Wil Okabe has issued an emergency proclamation. You can read it here: http://hawaiicountymayor.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Emergency-Lava-proclamation-May-3-2018.pdf

5:30 PM

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

  • All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions are required to evacuate.
  • The Pahoa Regional Community Center (15-3022 Kauhale St.) near the new Pahoa Regional park is open for shelter.
  • Keaau Community Center (16-186 Pili Mua St.) is open for additional shelter needs.
  • Residents evacuating should ensure to bring your emergency evacuation supply kit including necessary medicine, food, and necessary items for your comfort if possible.
  • The intersection at Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road is now closed to allow evacuation efforts to proceed.
  • Puna Geothermal Venture is executing their emergency plan and starting to shut down operations at this time.
  • Avoid travel to the evacuation area for everyone's safety.

Hawaii County Civil Defense, Police, Fire and partners continue to assist evacuation efforts and monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

4:00 PM

Due to persistently unstable volcanic activity and the possibility of a new eruption, park officials with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park have temporarily closed the Nāulu Trail, parts of Nāpua Trail and adjacent wilderness in Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone for public safety.

Approximately 31,660 acres of the 333,308-acre park are closed.

2:00 PM

An update from Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory geologist Janet Babb.

10:50 AM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported a 4.6 magnitude earthquake occurred at 10:31 AM off the south flank of Kīlauea Volcano. It was not large enough to cause a tsunami for the island of Hawaiʻi . No tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi Island.

8:06 AM

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports low magnitude earthquake activity continues along the East Rift Zone in Lower Puna, but with a slight drop in intensity since yesterday. Areas affected still include Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, to the coastal area of Kapoho.

Due to this activity, the observatory indicates an eruption is still possible, but not imminent. 

Due to seismic activity in the area, the following impacts have occurred:

  • Pohoiki Road is closed between Highway 132 and Leilani Avenue due to cracks.
  • Cracks within Leilani Estates have been reported as well.

Hawaiʻi County officials want to remind residents in the event of a possible eruption:

  • Area motorists are advised to be on the alert for roadway damage.
  • Prepare and review your emergency plans in case you need to evacuate.
  • While seismic activity has slightly lessed in intensity, stay alert and informed by listening to local radio stations for Civil Defense updates.

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest alerts here.

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UPDATE 5/2/2018 4:00 PM

Hawaiʻi County's Civil Defense is advising residents in Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, and near the coastal area of Kapoho to be prepared to evacuate because of a possible eruption.

Earlier today, Civil Defense officials announced a magma dike, or pathway of rising magma, is making its way down to the Lower Puna area past Highway 130.

At 12 PM, Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory reported continuous low magnitude earthquake activity along the East Rift Zone, and say an eruption is possible. Because it is impossible to predict where an eruption could occur, those areas will be affected if an eruption were to occur. 

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has closed more than 15,000 acres near Kīlauea Volcano’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent to the ocean today, including the gravel emergency access road from the eastern gate near Kalapana, to the western gate at the end of Chain of Craters Road, and all land on the makai (ocean) side of the emergency road.

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For more than a month, officials at the USGS’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have been monitoring the inflation of Puʻu ‘Ō‘ō crater – located in Kilauea’s East Rift Zone.

Earlier this week, the crater’s floor collapsed.

Geologists at the Observatory say Puʻu ‘Ō‘ō’s inflation is caused by a pressure build-up of magma underneath the surface, and the floor’s collapse is a result of the lava moving elsewhere.

But as of yet, no new magma flow has reached the surface – meaning its movement has been underground causing earthquakes in the area.

USGS officials have been tracking the lava’s movement using instruments measuring ground levels and seismic activity.

Janet Babb is a Geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Hawaiʻi County’s Department of Parks and Recreation have shut down the lava viewing area in Kalapana due to the proximity to the volcanic activity – and the possibility of an eruption.

Security have been dispatched to ensure no unauthorized persons enter the area.