Kilauea Eruption: New fissure opens in Lanipuna Gardens, Halemaumau ash fallout headed towards Ka‘u

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


USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 15, 2018.

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.

Hawaii County Civil Defense 6 p.m. audio message

This is a Civil Defense Message for 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

The Hawaiin Volcano Observatory reports that Fissure 6, near Leilani Avenue and Pohoiki Road, has become active again. They have noted lava fountaining and spatter as of about 4:45 p.m. The flow from fissure 17 has had little advancement since this morning.

For up to date information go to www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-lava…

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

  • Volcano School of Art and Science will be closed tomorrow (5/16/18).
  • 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.
  • The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 is now open beyond Malama Street for local residents only.  The Hawaii Police Department is requesting no large trailers or heavy equipment be taken over the metal plates.
  • 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.
  • Hawaii Fire Department reports that air quality is still condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. 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. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
  • Residents of Lower Puna are advised to be on the alert to gas emissions.
  • 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:

  • 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.


A large ash plume from the Overlook Vent inside Halemaumau is rising several thousand feet above the ground and drifting to the southwest. Ashfall is occurring in the Ka‘u District. Video by Timothy Bryan, special to Hawaii 24/7

Hawaii County Civil Defense 10 a.m. audio message on the ash plume

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a special weather statement regarding air quality in the district of Ka‘u.

A burst in volcanic ash emissions from Halemaumau Crater began around 7 a.m. this morning (May 15). Northeast winds will carry ash downstream across Hawaii Island’s Ka‘u District affecting the Punaluu, Wood Valley, Naalehu communities this morning and into early afternoon.

Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant. Those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.

Halemaumau Summit Lake explosive eruption hazard

Occasional rockfalls into the deep Kilauea summit Overlook Vent are expected to produce intermittent pulses of slightly more vigorous ash emissions. This image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, Halemaʻumaʻu is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) across and about 85 m (~280 ft) deep.

Occasional rockfalls into the deep Kilauea summit Overlook Vent are expected to produce intermittent pulses of slightly more vigorous ash emissions. This image is from a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera is looking SSE towards the active vent in Halemaʻumaʻu, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. For scale, Halemaʻumaʻu is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) across and about 85 m (~280 ft) deep.

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.


Vog Measurement and Prediction Project by the University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) Current data and maps can be found at mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/

Get the latest Vog Predictions here: mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Vog (CONDITION RED)

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

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