Kilauea caldera drops three feet, and quakes create cracks on Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11)


U.S. Geological Survey

Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 2:35 PM HST (Thursday, May 17, 2018, 00:35 UTC)


(VNUM #332010)

19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W,

Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

Current Aviation Color Code: RED


Panorama of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent Wide Angle from HVO Observation Tower. Webcam image taken Wednesday, May 16, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Strong earthquakes within the summit of Kilauea Volcano continue in response to ongoing deflation and lava column drop. As of the afternoon of May 16, the floor of Kilauea caldera has dropped approximately 3 feet (90 cm). This movement is stressing faults around the caldera of Kilauea, causing them to move and resulting in strong earthquakes of up to magnitude 4.4 thus far.

Employees at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, and nearby residents are reporting frequent ground shaking and damage to roads and buildings. Hawaii County Police reports cracks across Highway 11 between mile markers 28 and 29. Although these are passable, motorists are urged to use caution.

As deflation continues, strong earthquakes in the area around Kilauea Volcano’s summit are expected to continue and may become more frequent. Areas further from these earthquakes may feel some ground motion as well, but much less severe.

The shallow depths of these earthquakes make them more damaging in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter, and individuals need to take precautions to minimize damage from the shaking, including the removal of unstable items from walls and shelves. Steep slopes should be avoided as they may become destabilized during strong earthquakes.

Cracks are appearing on Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11) in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park due to strong earthquakes.

Hawaii Island police advise the public to use caution as wind direction and volcanic ash are ing pushed toward Hilo. Motorists are also advised of cracks on Mamalahoa Highway (Route 11) between the 28-29 mile markers of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.