Kilauea Eruption: Lava erupts in Leilani Estates, mandatory evacuation for residents in that area

USGS UPDATE (10:12 p.m. on 5/3/2018)

The eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano that began in late afternoon ended by about 6:30 p.m. HST. Lava spatter and gas bursts erupted from the fissure for about two hours, and lava spread a short distance from the fissure, less than about 10 m (33 ft).

At this time, the fissure is not erupting lava and no other fissures have erupted.

HVO geologists are working near the fissure overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano’s overall activity.

Recent Observations

Geologists reported this evening that the presence of sulfur gas is quite noticeable around the fissure, typical of active and recently active fissures. The concentration of sulfur dioxide gas is high within tens of meters (yards) of the fissure.

Lava flows did not advance more than about 10 m (33 ft) from the fissure. The flows are no longer active.

At this time, no other fissures have erupted from along the rift zone.

Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit continue to record deflationary tilt and the lava lake level has dropped about 37 m (121 ft) in the past 24 hours.

Seismic activity has not changed significantly during the day or since the brief fissure eruption.

Hazard Analysis

The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. Additional erupting fissures and new lava outbreaks may occur. It is not possible at this time to say when and where new vents may occur.

Areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk.

See the Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and alerts for additional information (www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…).

HVO Contact Information: askHVO@usgs.gov


Aerial view of the lava eruption in Leilani Estates subdivision

UPDATED (9:15 p.m. on 5/3/2018)

Hawaii County Civil Defense 9:15 p.m. audio message

This is a Civil Defense update for 10 p.m., Thursday, May 3, 2018.

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

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

  • 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 Regional Community Center near the new Pahoa Regional Park is open for shelter.
  • Keaau Community Center is to be opened 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.
  • An emergency proclamation by the Mayor is now in effect Link here
  • An emergency proclamation by Governor David Ige is here.
  • Pohoiki Road is closed from the intersection at Highway 132 up to Lanipuna Subdivision to allow evacuation efforts to proceed.
  • Hawaii Gas Company Customers with questions should call their 24/7 hotline at (808) 935-0021.
  • Puna Geothermal Venture operations have shut down indefinitely until further notice.
  • 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.

UPDATED (6:50 p.m. on 5/3/2018)

This is a Civil Defense update for 6:50 p.m., Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Department of Public Works reports steam and lava emissions from a crack in Leilani Subdivision in the area of Mohala Street.

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

  • An emergency proclamation is now in effect Link Here
  • All residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions are required to evacuate.
  • The Pahoa Regional Community Center near the new Pahoa Regional Park is open for shelter.
  • Keaau Community Center is to be opened 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 of 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.

UPDATED (5:35 p.m. on 5/3/2018)

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory 5:35 p.m update on Thursday, May 3, 2018

An eruption has commenced in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano. Shortly before 5 p.m., lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision. Hawaii County Civil Defense is on the scene and coordinating needed response including the evacuation of a portion of the Leilani subdivision.

New ground cracks were reported in Leilani Estates late this afternoon with white, hot vapor and blue fume coming from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. Spatter began erupting shortly before 5 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff and the County of Hawaii are on the ground and conducting overflights to further identify characterize activity and identify the direction of flowing lava.

Areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk.

The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic. Additional vents and new lava outbreaks may occur and at this time it is not possible to say where new vents may occur.

Hawaii County Civil Defense 5:30 p.m. audio message

This is a Civil Defense update for 5 p.m., Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Department of Public Works reports steam and lava emissions from a crack in Leilani Subdivision in the area of Mohala Street.

Due to the eruption, the following are issued:

  • Residents in Leilani Estates Subdivision on Luana, Makamae, Ho’okupu, Kaupili, Mohala, and lower Leilani Streets down to Highway 132 are required to evacuate the area.
  • Sirens in the lower Puna area have been triggered to alert residents to evacuate.
  • The Pahoa Regional Community Center near the new Pahoa Regional Park is open for shelter.
  • The Keaau Community Center is open as a shelter.
  • The Red Cross and Salvation Army have people assisting those displaced at the shelters.
  • 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.
  • Call Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031 for emergency needs you may have.

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.


Red Cross Shelter in Pahoa for those displaced by the evacuation

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