High rate of quakes continue in Puna as magma moves in east rift zone

UPDATED (10 p.m. on 5/2/2018)

Kua O Ka Lā 
New Century Public Charter School will be closed on Thursday, May 3, 2018 due to the ongoing seismic activity. Check the school webpage for updates here.

UPDATED (9:30 p.m. on 5/2/2018)

This is a Civil Defense Road Closure Message for 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, 2018. The Department of Public Works reports the section of Pahoa-Pohoiki Road between Kapoho Road (Route 132) and Leilani Avenue. is closed in both directions due to road damage. Detours through Kapoho Road (Route 132) and Leilani Avenue are in place. Thank you for your understanding. Have a safe evening. Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.

UPDATED (6 p.m. on 5/2/2018)


Hawaii County Civil Defense 6 p.m. audio message

This is a Civil Defense message for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports continuous low magnitude earthquake activity along the east rift zone in lower Puna which includes Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, to the coastal area of Kapoho.

Due to this activity, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory indicates an eruption is possible. Because it is not possible to predict where an eruption could occur, the areas that could be affected are Nanawale Estates, Leilani Estates or Kapoho.

Due to the possibility of an eruption, the following are issued:

  • Prepare and review your emergency plans in case you need to evacuate.
  • Stay informed by listening to local radio stations for Civil Defense updates or call Civil Defense at 935-0031.
  • Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and your Hawaii County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

Hawaii County Civil Defense 2 p.m. audio message

UPDATED (12 noon on 5/2/2018)

This is a Civil Defense message for Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 12 noon.

The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory reports continuous low magnitude earthquake activity along the east rift zone in lower Puna which includes Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, to the coastal area of Kapoho.

Due to this activity, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory indicates an eruption is possible. Because it is not possible to predict where an eruption could occur, the areas that could be affected are Nanawale Estates, Leilani Estates or Kapoho.

Due to the possibility of an eruption, the following are issued:

  • Prepare and review your emergency plans in case you need to evacuate.
  • Stay informed by listening to local radio stations for Civil Defense updates or call Civil Defense at 935-0031.
  • Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and your Hawaii County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.


May 1, 2018 Vent Collapses!!! from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.
Video courtesy of Tropical Visions Video with air transportation by Paradise Helicopters.

HAWAII COUNTY MEDIA RELEASE (10:35 a.m. on 5/2/2018)

Agencies Prepare for Possible Eruption amid Continuous Earthquakes in East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano

County, State and Federal agencies are preparing for a possible eruption amid continuous earthquakes along the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano. The preparations include the identification of shelters, mobilization of police and other security personnel to ensure residents’ safety, and road crews to ensure access to evacuation routes.

Residents in the lower Puna area should keep themselves informed about the situation, and be prepared to evacuate.

“Should an eruption occur, residents along the East Rift Zone may have little warning. Residents in that area should be prepared to evacuate,” said Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno.

The County will keep the community informed about the situation, and stands ready to ensure the safety and security of its residents, he said.

“All agencies have been alerted about the possibility of an eruption,” Magno said. “The risk areas and possible hazards are being identified, and shelters have been identified.”

According to a Civil Defense briefing early Tuesday, a magma dike, or pathway of rising magma, is making its way down to the lower Puna area past Pahoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130). An eruption may take place anywhere from Puʻu ʻŌʻō to beyond Kapoho to the east.

Swarms of earthquakes, of eight to 10 temblors per hour, are being felt in the area, which could precede an eruption, said U.S.G.S. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory research geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua.

Kauahikaua said that the current seismic activity is similar to what preceded an eruption of Kīlauea Volcano in the lower Puna district in 1955.

During that eruption which started in February 1955, at least 24 separate volcanic vents opened up and down the volcano’s East Rift Zone, with lava flows covering about 3,900 acres of land. Coastal communities from Kalapana to Kapoho were evacuated, and sections of every public road to the coastline were buried by lava before the eruption abruptly ended on May 26, 1955.

Residents of lower Puna to remain alert and watch for further information about the status of the volcano at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al… Blackboard alerts on their phones or email, and stay tuned to their local radio stations for updates. Residents can also receive automatic notices (emails or texts) about volcanic activity through the USGS Volcano Notification Service. Sign for this free service at volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns/

Hawaii County Civil Defense 9:30 a.m. audio message

The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory reports increased shallow earthquake activity for Kilauea Volcano below Pu’u O’o in Puna District.

This means an outbreak of lava in a new location could occur. While it is not possible to predict where an outbreak could occur, the area east of Pu’u O’o is a possible location.

Due to the increased seismic activity, the following are issued:

  • Department of Parks and Recreation has shut down the lava viewing area in Kalapana due to the proximity to the increased hazardous activity.
  • Lower Puna area residents are advised to stay informed by listening to the radio, Civil Defense text alerts and social media sites.
  • For up to date scientific information, go to active links on our Civil Defense website and the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory website.

Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatories and your Hawaii County Civil Defense will continue to monitor the situation throughout the night. You will be informed as conditions change.

USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory 8:42 a.m. daily update of Kilauea Volcano

Recent earthquakes in the Puna area as of 10:22 a.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Map via USGS

Recent earthquakes in the Puna area as of 10:22 a.m. Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Map via USGS

Summary: Intrusion of magma into the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea continues.

Overnight, earthquakes continued at a high rate in the area of the rift zone from Pahoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130) eastward towards Kapoho. Many events were felt by residents and there have been reports of nearly constant ground vibration in some areas. There is a general trend of migration of seismicity eastward.

An outbreak of lava in a new location along the East Rift Zone is possible but not certain. Based on the location of current seismicity, the region downrift of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, including the area east of Pahoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130), remains the most likely location should an outbreak occur.

Hawaii County Civil Defense and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory advise residents of the Puna District to remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano.Hawaii County Civil Defense messages may be found at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…

Summit Observations: The summit lava lake at Halemaumau remains at a high level. Overall, the summit lava lake has shown no response to activity in the middle and lower East Rift Zone. Summit tiltmeters recorded very little change overnight. Tremor amplitude is fluctuating with lava lake spattering. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Current webcam views are here: volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/k…

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Observations: Seismicity remains elevated at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō but tiltmeters near the cone show no significant deformation at this time.Yesterday poor weather and airborne ash prevented views into the collapsed crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.The thermal webcam shows continuing high heat flux from within the crater. This morning’s web cam images show no further significant ash emission from the crater.

Volcano Watch post on being prepared for the worst.

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