Kilauea Eruption: Explosive eruption at Kilauea summit Thursday (May 17)

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

Panorama of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent Wide Angle from HVO Observation Tower at 5:44 a.m. HST Thursday, May 17, 2018. Photo taken Thursday, May 17, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Panorama of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent Wide Angle from HVO Observation Tower at 5:44 a.m. HST Thursday, May 17, 2018. Photo taken Thursday, May 17, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey


USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 17, 2018.

This is a Civil Defense Message for 12 noon, Thursday, May 17, 2018.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has advised of an explosive eruption at Kilauea summit that occurred at 4:17 a.m. today (May 17). The eruption was short-lived with trace amounts of ashfall. A sizeable ash plume was generated and may have affected surrounding areas.

Due to the continued ash activity at Halemaumau, please be advised the following policies are in effect:

  • The danger from this eruption is ash fallout. The major response is to protect yourself from fallout.
  • If 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, check your home if safe to do so, and especially your catchment system, for any impact that may affect your water quality.

To protect yourself from breathing volcanic ash, free masks will be distributed as follows:

Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 1-7 p.m.

  • Cooper Center, Volcano
  • Pahala Community Center, Pahala
  • Naalehu Community Center, Naalehu
  • Shipman Park Pavilion, Keaau

One mask per family member will help to assure that supplies are adequate to accommodate all our ‘Ohana. Masks do NOT protect against gases and vapors. They will only provide filtering for ash. Mahalo 3M for the donation of masks, the Red Cross for distribution support and Community Emergency Response Teams.

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

Hawaii County Civil Defense 7:30 a.m. audio message regarding school closures

Hawaii County Civil Defense 6 p.m. audio message

This is a Civil Defense Message for 6 p.m., Thursday, May 17, 2018.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has reported a new fissure 21 down rift of Makamae Street in Leilani Estates.  Several fissures have reactivated. HVO reports lava is pahoehoe, and flows have been generated.

Due to the volcanic activity in the lower east rift zone, the following are issued:

  • Residents in Leilani Subdivision need to be aware of this new activity and flows and take necessary precautions.
  • Due to elevated sulfur dioxide (S02) levels, Pahoa High, Intermediate, and Elementary School Complex, Keonepoko Elementary, Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science, Volcano School of Arts and Science will be closed.
  • 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 Keaʻau Community Center.
  • The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is working to reopen the Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) from Malama Street to Kamaili Road this morning for local traffic only. Motorists are advised to drive with caution as metal plates will be placed over the cracks on the roadway. HDOT and County personnel will be stationed along the route to ensure the roadway is safe for local traffic.
  • Dept. of Health reports hazardous emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems. SO2 can be carried with wind, or, cover an area with no wind.
  • Residents of Lower Puna are advised to be on the alert to gas emissions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The U.S. Postal Service reports that the Pahoa Post Office is temporarily closed due to air quality concerns Thursday (May 17).
  • 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.

Please be advised:

  • Masks may be picked up at Cooper Center in Volcano, Pahala Community Center, and Naalehu Community Center. Shipman Park Pavilion in Keeau does not have any more masks.
  • Distribution will continue on Friday from 1-7p.m. at Cooper Center and Ocean View Community Center.
  • One mask per family member.
  • Masks DO NOT protect against gasses and vapors.  They will only provide filtering for ash.

A third shelter has opened. Sure Foundation, located on Pohaku Circle in Keeau, is now open.

  • People from Pahoa who have breathing concerns are relocating from the Pahoa Community Center shelter to the Sure Foundation shelter.
  • The shelter will cater specifically to people with breathing issues, but everyone is welcome.
  • All shelters are pet-friendly.

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.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents in lower Puna. An interruption in trade winds today means that Lower Puna, Volcano Village and surrounding areas, such as the Big Island North, South and Interior, may experience varying levels of vog and sulfur dioxide exposure. The 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.

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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