Kilauea Eruption: New fissures 16 & 17 erupt east of PGV Saturday (May 12)

Hawaii County Civil Defense interactive map of roadblocks, subdivisions, and eruption fissures: hawaii247.com/lavamap

USGS Resources related to the 2018 Kilauea Lower East Rift Zone eruption and Summit Activity

Lower East Rift Zone Kilauea Eruption Update


Fissure 16 eruption at 12:57 p.m. HST on May 12, 2018. Video by Cheryl Gansecki, University of Hawaii.

May 12, 2018 Sixteenth Fissure Eruption from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Video courtesy of Tropical Visions Video with air transportation by Paradise Helicopters.


During an overflight on May 11, we collected thermal images of the crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and created an updated 3D model of the crater geometry. The collapse on April 30 produced a large cavity, with the deepest point roughly 350 m (1150 feet) below the crater rim.

Main map shows the location of fissure 16, as well as earlier fissures, lava flows, and steaming areas, as of 12:00 p.m. HST, May 12. Inset map shows fissures in Leilani Estates in the order they occurred since May 3. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

Main map shows the location of fissure 16, as well as earlier fissures, lava flows, and steaming areas, as of 12:00 p.m. HST, May 12. Inset map shows fissures in Leilani Estates in the order they occurred since May 3. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

Location of Fissure 16 located East of Puna Geothermal Venture. Map via Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Location of Fissure 16 located East of Puna Geothermal Venture. Map via Hawaii County Civil Defense.

USGS 10 a.m., Saturday, May 12, 2018 Update:


An update at 10 a.m. HST, Saturday, May 12, 2018 by Tina Neal, Scientist in Charge of U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. A report on the new fissure 16 and potential explosive event at Halemaumau Crater. Video courtesy of USGS.

Minor spattering activity has been reported from a new fissure (16) that has opened about 6:45 a.m. about 1 mile northeast of fissure 15 at the northeast end of the existing vent system. No significant lava flow from this new fissure has been reported or observed at this time, but conditions could change quickly. the lava is viscous and does not seem to be traveling far from the fissure. Elevated earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the area remain likely.

Hawaii County Civil Defense 7 p.m. audio message

This is a Civil Defense Message for 7 p.m., Saturday, May 12, 2018.

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.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

  • 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.
  • If you evacuate voluntarily, the Pahoa Community Center and Kea’au Community Center are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet-friendly.
  • The Civil Defense Recovery Information and Assistance Center (RIAC) will be open on Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pahoa Community Center.

Service/Utilities/Agency Update:

  • The Kalapana Transfer Station is closed until further notice. The Pāhoa Transfer Station on Apaa Street is open 7 days a week, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Hawai‘i Electric Light reminds residents to treat all downed lines as live. Under no circumstances are you to approach or touch downed lines.
  • Emergency water restrictions for the Pohoiki, Vacationland and Kapoho area are still in effect while personnel work to restore service. Water spigots installed near the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker in Vacationland are still available for the public to access.
  • Evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pāhoa Post Office. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Post Office has closed, mail pick up for area residents is at Volcano Village 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.
  • Contact the Humane Society for animal information.

Community Message/Alerts:

  • Next community meeting 5:30 p.m. Monday (May 14) in the Pāhoa High School Cafeteria. The meeting will be broadcast by Naleo.tv
  • Kua O Ka La School will reopen in Hilo on  Monday (May 14).  Grades K through 4 will meet at New Hope Church in Hilo, grades 5 through 12 will meet at the Boys and Girls Club in Hilo.
  • The evacuated residents are going through a very difficult time. We ask for your help and understanding.
  • County, State, and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.


Time-lapse movie of Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone in Puna. The camera is positioned near Kapoho looking Northwest. From left to right on the horizon, one can see Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent near the left edge of the image, the gas plume from Halemaʻumaʻu crater (when clear enough), with Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea farther to the right. May 5-12, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

May 11, 2018 Leilani Aerial Update from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Video courtesy of Tropical Visions Video with air transportation by Paradise Helicopters.

Halemaumau Summit Lake explosive eruption hazard

Hawaii County Civil Defense 4:30 p.m. Kilauea summit explosion hazard audio message

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.
This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.


USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Scientist in Charge Tina Neal update on the Kilauea eruption on Friday, May 11, 2018.

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