Kilauea Eruption: Narrow lava flow moving towards ocean, CONDITION RED air quality Monday (May 14)

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

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Vog (CONDITION RED)

Hawaii County Civil Defense 4:30 p.m. audio message

Click on image for a full description of air quality levels.

Click on image for full description of air quality levels.

Hawaii Fire Department reports that fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens area are issuing 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.

Due to the toxic gas hazard in the affected area, the following are issued:

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

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

Monitor vog levels and forecasts: People on Hawaii Island outside the area of volcanic activity are also advised to monitor levels of vog at vog.ivhhn.org


USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 14, 2018, by Scientist in Charge Tina Neal.


Aerial view of fissure 17 around 4:30 p.m. HST. On the west end of the flow, intermittent percussive jetting threw spatter and lava bombs up to 500 feet above the ground. East margin of the ‘a‘ā flow was cascading into a pit or graben. Video taken Sunday, May 13, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory daily update

Map as of 2:30 p.m. HST, May 14, shows the location of fissure 17, which opened yesterday morning at approximately 4:30 a.m. HST., and the area covered by an ‘a‘ā flow since then. The flow front as of 2:30 p.m. is shown by the small red circle with label. The flow is following well a path of steepest descent (blue line), immediately south of the 1955 ‘a‘ā flow boundary. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

Map as of 2:30 p.m. HST, May 14, shows the location of fissure 17, which opened yesterday morning at approximately 4:30 a.m. HST., and the area covered by an ‘a‘ā flow since then. The flow front as of 2:30 p.m. is shown by the small red circle with label. The flow is following well a path of steepest descent (blue line), immediately south of the 1955 ‘a‘ā flow boundary. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

This thermal map shows the fissure system during an overflight of the area this afternoon (the western part of the thermal map, in Leilani Estates, was based on a May 9 overflight, and fissure activity in that region has not changed since that time). Fissure 17 was producing a lava flow extending about 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the fissure. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

This thermal map shows the fissure system during an overflight of the area this afternoon (the western part of the thermal map, in Leilani Estates, was based on a May 9 overflight, and fissure activity in that region has not changed since that time). Fissure 17 was producing a lava flow extending about 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the fissure. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

This thermal map shows a close up of the northeastern end of the fissure system. Fissure 17 was producing a lava flow extending about 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the fissure. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

This thermal map shows a close up of the northeastern end of the fissure system. Fissure 17 was producing a lava flow extending about 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the fissure. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

The eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…)

This morning, activity is dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter more than 100 feet into the air, and an advancing lava flow from fissure 17 at the northeast end of the fissure system. As of 6:30 a.m. the fissure 17 flow had traveled just under a mile roughly east-southeast parallel to the rift zone. It is turning slightly south and at this time is about one-half mile south of Highway 132.

Fissure 18 that became active late yesterday is weakly active.

A fissure 19 has been spotted very near fissure 15 as of about 8 a.m. just northeast of Pohoiki Road and north of Hinalo Street at the east end of Lanipuna Gardens. It is producing a sluggish lava flow.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Yesterday with the onset of activity at fissure 17, powerful steam jets have occurred intermittently near the west end of the fissure. These jets may be responsible for some of the loud sounds reported by residents and emergency workers.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area.

The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly.Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…).

May 13, 2018, Seventeenth Fissure Eruption from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

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

Lower East Rift Zone Kilauea Eruption Update

Hawaii County Civil Defense 12 noon audio message

This is a Civil Defense Message for 7:25 a.m., Monday, May 14, 2018.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure in Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision has opened between fissure 15 and 16 at this time. HVO reports 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 roads threatened at this time.

Be aware, no sightseeing is permitted in the area.

Continued earthquake activity and additional outbreaks in the area are likely.

In addition, HVO has cautioned about the possibility of an explosive eruption at Halema’uma’u Crater due to the 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: there may be little to no advance notice to evacuate, so take this time to prepare. If you evacuate voluntarily, pet-friendly shelters are open at Pahoa Community Center and Kea’au Community Center.
  • On road closures, Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School.
  • Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.
  • No one is allowed to go off-road sightseeing. Stay out of the active eruption area. Allow the residents to care for their business.
  • Vacation rentals in lower Puna are directed 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.
  • Hawaii Police Department is enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restriction for lower Puna. No helicopter or drone activity is allowed without approval.
  • 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) and Thursday (May 17) in the Pāhoa High School Cafeteria. The meeting will be broadcast by Naleo.tv
  • On schools, Keonepoko Elementary, Pahoa High, Intermediate and Elementary Schools are open. Normal school bus routes are operating today.
  • 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.

Halemaumau Summit Lake explosive eruption hazard

Hawaii County Civil Defense 4:30 p.m. Saturday (May 12) 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.


Animation of recent quakes around Hawaii Island April 21 to May 13, 2018. Animation courtesy of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

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