LavaTalk: September 30, 2014 update on Kilauea’s lava flow

Kilauea June 27th Lava Flow position as of 7 a.m. September 30, 2014. Map courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense

Kilauea June 27th Lava Flow position as of 7 a.m. September 30, 2014. Map courtesy of Hawaii County Civil Defense

Click for Civil Defense Eruption Audio Update for 8:15 a.m. Sept 30, 2014

Hawaii County Civil Defense Eruption Update for 8 a.m. Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This morning’s assessment shows lava flow activity continues along the edges of the front or leading surface lava flow however, the flow front had not advanced much since yesterday. The small breakout flows upslope from the leading edge along the North flank have also decreased in activity and had advanced approximately 20 yards in a North direction. All current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities.

No evacuation is needed at this time and area residents will be given adequate notice to safely evacuate should that be necessary.

Smoke conditions were light to moderate with light trade winds out of the northeast and a light rain was present in the area. There is no fire threat at this time.

HELCO crews are continuing with work in the Government Beach Road area. This will result in the road being blocked and the access will be limited to beach road residents only to minimize disruption and delays to the operations.

The public is reminded that the flow is not visible and cannot be accessed from any public areas. Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will remain restricted to area residents only.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Kilauea Status Update for 8:52 a.m. Tuesday, September 30, 2014

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. An HVO overflight on Monday observed breakouts of lava where the flow first enters the crack system about 8 km (5 mi) behind the stalled front, and where it exits the crack system about 3 km (2 mi) back from the front. At the leading edge of the flow, two lobes of weak surface activity were observed at 125 m (410 ft) and 580 m (1900 ft) behind the front. Both lobes are creeping northeast around the north side of the existing flow. Lava continues to move through the tube from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but the volume is low compared to that measured two weeks ago, during the period of rapid flow advance.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: There was no net change in ground tilt at Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past day. Glow was visible overnight above several outgassing openings in the crater floor. The most recent sulfur-dioxide emission-rate measurement for the East Rift Zone was 550 tonnes per day (from all sources) on September 25, 2014. Seismic tremor is low and constant.

Upcoming Lava Flow Information Meetings:

  • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (Sept 30) Kalapana at Uncle Robert’s
  • 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct 2) Pahoa High School Cafeteria

In addition, the County of Hawai‘i has established an Incident Command Center and Informational Resource Center at the Pāhoa Community Center. Residents are invited to the information center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday next week for answers to their questions.

For the latest Civil Defense message, go to www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…. For more information, contact Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.​


View Hawaii County Lava Flow Information Centers in a larger map


Latest USGS/HVO lava flow maps

Alternate routes for Lower Puna displayed at the Lava Flow Informational Fair Saturday (Sept 13) in Pahoa. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Alternate routes for Lower Puna displayed at the Lava Flow Informational Fair Saturday (Sept 13) in Pahoa. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Hawaii County Mass Transit proposed routes. Displayed at the Lava Flow Informational Fair Saturday (Sept 13).

Hawaii County Mass Transit proposed routes. Displayed at the Lava Flow Informational Fair Saturday (Sept 13).


View Alternate Routes In/Out of Lower Puna in a larger map
Potential evacuation routes/alternative roads crews are working on.


Information Graphics by Dr. Mark Kimura, UH-Hilo

LAVA DANGER FORCES STATE LAND CLOSURE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY

Due to the recent lava flow activity adjacent to the Kaohe Homesteads area in the Puna district, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has closed all state unencumbered lands in the immediate vicinity.

These include the parcels designated by Tax Map Key numbers: (3) 1-5-01:21, 26 and (3) 1-5-08:01. Signs have been posted at various access points warning the public of the hazardous conditions.

DLNR has been receiving reports of tour groups and individuals wandering onto state lands to get a better look at the lava. Although the lava flow has temporarily stopped, there are outbreaks still entering onto state lands.

To ensure safety, DLNR is closing this area to all but essential personnel.

DLNR has also closed Wao Kele O Puna forest reserve, and Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve. Both areas are off-limits to all persons.

Entry into closed lands is a violation of Hawaii Administrative Rule Sec. 13-221-4 and Hawaii Revised Statute 171-6, and is subject of penalty up to $5,000 for the first offense. The Governor’s proclamation enhances the penalties for any offense committed during this emergency.

“DLNR intends to prosecute any trespassers who willfully violate the closures and place enforcement officers and emergency personnel at increased risk,” said William J. Aila,Jr., DLNR chairperson.

Emergency Preparations Trigger Closure of Pahoa Senior Center

The county Department of Parks and Recreation has closed its Pahoa Senior Center so the facility may be used as an emergency fire station servicing the lower Puna community threatened with lava inundation.

Until the lava threat from Kilauea Volcano ends, the Hawaii County Nutrition Program and the Senior Club will operate from the Nanawale Community Center.

Normal programming and scheduling will be offered, however, the Nanawale Community Center will be closed Oct. 20-31 so it may be used as a polling place for the General Election. Affected seniors will be notified of a temporary relocation during the voting period.

Coordinated Services for the Elderly (CSE) and Elderly Recreation Services (ERS) have been relocated to the Keaau Senior Center. For more details regarding the Department of Parks and Recreation’s elderly services, please call CSE at 961-8777 or ERS at 966- 5801.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the closure of the Pahoa Senior Center and thanks the public for its patience and understanding during this time of emergency.

AT&T PREPARED TO KEEP CUSTOMERS CONNECTED DURING LAVA FLOW

AT&T is committed to providing its customers with reliable communications before, during and after weather events and natural disasters – and has one of the industry’s largest and most advanced disaster response programs to keep its networks operational.

“Staying connected during natural disasters like the Puna lava flow is critically important to consumers, businesses and our emergency management officials,” said Jeffrey Yamane, AT&T Director of Network Engineering, Hawaii. “That’s why AT&T invests a tremendous amount of resources in our network reliability and disaster response capabilities.”

Local AT&T network maintenance teams have developed contingency plans that will allow us to rapidly respond and restore service if any of our network infrastructure is damaged or destroyed by the Puna lava flow. Our response may include the deployment of COWs (Cell on Wheels) and portable generators.

  • AT&T standard pre-disaster network preparations typically include:
  • Testing the high-capacity backup batteries located at cell sites.
  • Preparing COWs (Cell on Wheels) for deployment.
  • Staging extended battery life and portable generators and maintaining existing fixed generators.
  • Topping off generators with fuel at cell sites and central and field-level switching facilities.
  • Staging generators in safe locations for their immediate deployment once the natural disaster has passed.

AT&T is the first private sector company to receive certification under the Department of Homeland Security’s Private Sector Preparedness, or PS-Prep, program. PS-Prep certification validates that AT&T is able to maintain or recover its own business operations in the face of an emergency or disaster, whether natural, man-made, or cyber in nature.

With $600 million invested in the Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program, AT&T’s arsenal of equipment includes more than 320 technology and equipment, making it one of the nation’s largest and most advanced disaster programs.

The NDR team works closely with other AT&T response teams, local AT&T network personnel, regional Emergency Operations Centers and Local Response Center. In the event of damage, teams are poised to restore and maintain service until permanent repairs can be made.

AT&T also conducts readiness drills and simulations throughout the year to ensure our networks are prepared and our personnel are ready to respond at a moment’s notice. NDR will complete its 74th full-field recovery exercise this year. Since its inception in 1991, the NDR has responded to more than 72 declared disasters across the U.S. Additionally, the AT&T Global Network Operations Center monitors our networks 24/7.

UnitedHealth Group Acts to Support People Affected by Lava Flow

UnitedHealth Group and its benefits and services businesses, UnitedHealthcare and Optum, are taking immediate action to help people on the island of Hawaii who may be affected by the lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano.

This includes a free emotional-support line to help people in the affected communities and assisting health plan participants who may be affected and need to make alternate arrangements to ensure continuity of care.

  • Free Help Line: Optum, a leading health and behavioral health services company, is offering a free emotional-support help line.

The toll-free number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. Specially trained Optum mental health specialists help people manage their stress and anxiety so they can continue to address their everyday needs. Callers may also receive referrals to community resources to help them with specific concerns, including financial and legal matters.

Along with the toll-free help line, emotional-support resources and information are available online at www.liveandworkwell.com

  • Help Finding a Network Care Provider, Early Refills: Plan participants who need help finding a care provider in the UnitedHealthcare network or obtaining early prescription refills can call customer care at the number located on the back of their medical ID card.

For plan participants who may have misplaced their medical ID card, call 866-633-2446, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. (in the local time zone), Monday through Friday. People enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual health plans who have a smartphone can download the free Health4Me app, which provides instant access to their ID card, network care providers, their personal health benefits and more. The Health4Me app is available as a free download at the Apple iTunes App Store and the Android Market on Google Play.

UnitedHealth Group is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making health care work better. With headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two business platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. Through its businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves more than 85 million people worldwide.

For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com

AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION WARNS OF HEALTH EFFECTS FROM SMOKE

The American Lung Association in Hawaii warns visitors and people living near the lava flow in Puna to take precautions against smoke exposure from burning vegetation and low levels of sulfur dioxide.

This smoke is a mixture of gases and fine particles released as vegetation burns. In addition to burning your eyes, these fine particles and gases can be inhaled deeply into your lungs, making it harder to breathe.

Exposure can worsen other chronic health conditions such as asthma or heart disease.

Exposure to sulfur dioxide, a gas emitted by volcanoes, can also be harmful, burning the nose and throat and causing breathing difficulties.

Residents with respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and also those with chronic heart disease should take extra precautions during this time and call their physician immediately if problems develop.

“Even those without lung diseases may be at risk during this time,” said Kim Nguyen, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Hawaii. “With exposure to smoke, there is an increased risk of dangerous health effects ranging from respiratory tract irritation to more serious illness, including reduced lung function, bronchitis, worsening of asthma, and premature death. This is especially true for children, older adults and outdoor workers.”

People living near affected areas are encouraged to do the following:

  • Stay inside as much as possible, with doors and windows shut. Make sure only clean air circulates through air conditioners and/or air cleaners by using the recirculation setting.
  • When driving through smoky areas, car windows and vents should be kept closed. Air conditioning should be set to “recirculate” to avoid exposure to unhealthy outside air.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors, particularly if you smell smoke or experience eye or throat irritation.
  • Individuals with asthma are encouraged to contact their physician regarding any changes in medication they may need to cope with smoky conditions. The American Lung Association advises asthma patients who cannot reach their doctor to continue to take their medication and closely follow their asthma action plan as prescribed.

If you have questions, you can call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNG-USA (choose option #2) to speak to a lung health expert.

For more information about the American Lung Association in Hawaii or to support the work it does, call (808) 537-5966 or visit www.lung.org/hawaii

HAWAII ISLAND HUMANE SOCIETY

Unpredictable lava flows remind us that upfront planning now can ease stressful situations should there be a need to evacuate. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The Hawaii Island Humane Society has a few tips to help keep animals safe in the event of an evacuation:

HIHS encourages all pet owners to be safe and prepared. If you are advised to evacuate, please consider your pet’s safety. Do not leave animals behind.

Develop a plan for their ongoing care including transportation arrangements.

Larger animals including horses and livestock may need to be moved well in advance. Call friends or family members to locate alternate pastures.

Gather items for your pet’s emergency kit –

  • Crate
  • Leash
  • Food
  • Water
  • Towel
  • Identification
  • Medication (if applicable)

If you evacuate, arrive at your destination prepared with your pet’s emergency kit and take your pets!

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, micro-chipping and more.

For further information, call 808-329-1175 or visit www.hihs.org

Hui Pono Holoholona offering temporary shelter to cats displaced by lava. Owners provide food, litter, medications.

Email: lava@hphhawaii.org

HelpPuna.com Helps Animal Evacuation

The June 27 lava flow poses a threat to farms and homes in the Puna area near Pahoa. Since this flow is in an agricultural area, it also threatens farm animals such as chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, in addition to dogs and cats.

All these animals would need to be evacuated in the event of an approaching lava flow. As people prepare for possible evacuation, they need to prepare and plan for evacuating their livestock and pets, too.

Finding accommodations for displaced people and their animals could become a major challenge as this lava flow continues. H.E.L.P. Puna is providing a free website service for residents who need to find places to protect their animals, and other residents in safe areas who wish to offer their properties as “Places of Refuge”.

H.E.L.P. is the Hawaii Evacuation of Livestock and Pets, a program of the Good Shepherd Foundation, a nonprofit organization with an animal sanctuary in Opihikao, not far from the lava flow.

Everyone is invited to offer their property as a haven from the lava flow for any livestock and pets they can accommodate. Some will be willing to accept only certain types of animals, such as dogs or cats. Others may have large fenced pastures or yards where they can take horses, sheep, or goats. Still others may have small backyards where they can only take chickens.

Those offering their places as refuges can do so for free or for a fee. It is between the parties to decide all financial issues and ensure there is a good fit.

We also invite those with animal trailers to offer their services on this website. Some people will need help moving their animals.

— Find out more:
www.HelpPuna.com

BIG ISLAND STILL WELCOMING VISITORS

Tourism officials are reminding travelers the lava flow likely will not impact their vacations.

Most of the island’s hotels and resorts located along the Kohala and Kona coasts – the opposite side of the island – and none have announced any changes to operations in response to the lava flow.

Ross Birch, Big Island Visitors Bureau executive director, said, “It’s in a very remote part of the island and people don’t need to change their plans.”

However, Birch said, those with plans to stay at bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental units in the near future should keep in contact with the owners for the latest updates.

Guests who may not be able to stay in those units are urged to contact the BIVB office so accommodations can be made.

“We can connect people and help make other arrangements,” he said. “There is no reason not to come visit the Big Island.”

For further information, call (808) 885-1655 or visit: www.gohawaii.com/big-island

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