Maui News

Increased Vog Forecast, Explosive Event Possible

May 10, 2018, 10:08 AM HST
* Updated May 10, 12:49 PM
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Due to a forecast of decreasing tradewinds, residents are advised to monitor their sensitivity to increased levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the latter part of the week.

The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will close indefinitely starting Friday due to the possibility of an explosive steam event and ash fall at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano.  Rangers say the closure is being implemented due to a combination of factors including a receding lava lake, an ensuing ash fall event on Wednesday, plus southerly wind patterns forecast for Friday.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirmed a 15th fissure.  The outbreak started Wednesday in the Lanipuna Subdivision and has since paused, but hazardous fumes continue to be released.

Since its onset last week, the East Rift Zone eruption has resulted in 15 fissures, nearly 117 acres covered by lava, and 36 structures destroyed.  As of midnight, there were over 200 residents at the Pāhoa shelter and 24 residents at the Keaʻau shelter.

Evacuation Update:

  • Conditions permitting, Leilani Estates residents will be allowed to check on their property from 7 AM to 6 PM each day until further notice.  Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • Civil Defense Recovery Information and Assistance Center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pāhoa, Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM.
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Road Status Update:

  • Pohoiki Road is closed from Highway 132 to 137 due to cracks in the road.
  • Highway 130 is closed between Malama Street and Kamaili Road.
  • No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.
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Service/Utilities/Agency Update:

  • Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) has completed the removal of all pentane gas offsite as of 3:15 a.m. this morning to Shipman Industrial Park.
  • The Kalapana Transfer Station is closed until further notice.  The Pāhoa Transfer Station on Apaa Street is open 7 days a week, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 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.
  • United States Postal Service announced that evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pāhoa 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:

  • Community meeting tonight (May 10) at 5:30 p.m. in the Pāhoa High School Cafeteria.
  • Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences is closed for the rest of the week.
  • 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.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzd8LUefOxQ

    At 9:53 a.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Severe ground cracks associated with fissure 14 in Leilani Estates. PC: US Geological Survey

    Ash column rises from the Overlook crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO’s interpretation is that the explosion was triggered by a rockfall from the steep walls of Overlook crater. The photograph was taken at 8:29 a.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The explosion was short-lived. Geologists examining the ash deposits on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater found fresh lava fragments hurled from the lava lake. This explosion was not caused by the interaction of the lava lake with the water table. When the ash cleared from the crater about an hour after the explosion, geologists were able to observe the lava lake surface, which is still above the water table. PC: US Geological Survey 5.9.18

    At 10:10 a.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Yellow street lines show the offset of cracks on Leilani Street, Leilani Estates. PC: US Geological Survey

    At 11:47 a.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. HVO geologist measured a temperature of 103 degrees C (218 degree F) at a crack along Nohea Street, Leilani Estates. The asphalt road was describes as “mushy” from the heat. PC: US Geological Survey.

    At 1 p.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. A new fissure extended across Pohoiki Road between the intersections of Leilani Avenue and Hinalo Street. Scientists had difficulty viewing the entire fissure from their location, but reported lava spatter 5 m (7 ft) high as well as a loud jetting of gas from the fissure. This photo shows the steaming fissure extending across Pohoiki Road. PC: US Geological Survey.

    At 1 p.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Aerial view from the Hawaii County Fire Department of fissure 15. The fissure cut across Pohoiki Road. PC: US Geological Survey

    At 4:22 p.m. HST on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Steaming area located uprift (west) of Highway 130. Geologists observed many steaming ground cracks in the area during two overflights on Wednesday afternoon. This area is inline with fissures 1-15 (in distance, upper left in photo), but located farther west. PC: US Geological Survey

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