WorldAware's global intelligence team tracks and monitors threats around the globe. Our Environment team tracks weather- and environment-related threats from forest fires, earthquakes to the recent volcano eruption on Hawaii's big island. Below is our in-depth analysis of the threat of the Kilauea volcano. 


5/4/18 - Environment: Update 1
5/4/18 - Environment: Update 2
5/4/18 - Environment: Update: 3 
5/7/18 - Environment: Update 4
5/9/18 - Environment: Update 5
5/12/18 - Environment: Update 6
5/15/18 - Environment: Update 7
5/18/18 - Environment: Update 8
5/18/18 - Environment Update 9
5/21/18 - Environment: Update 10
5/26/18 - Environment: Update 11
5/29/18 - Environment: Update 12

5/30/18 - Environment: Update 13
6/1/18 - Environment - Update 14
6/4/18 - Environment - Update 15

6/7/18 - Environment - Update 16
6/11/18 - Environment - Update 17
6/14/18 - Environment - Update 18
6/20/18 - Environment - Update 19
7/1/18 - Environment - Update 20
7/13/18 - Environment - Update 21
8/1/18 - Environment - Update 22
 

Environment: 5.4 Magnitude Earthquake

Environment: Update 1: 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake
 


Update 22:

Environment: Minimal growth of lava reported in Puna District, Hawaii, US, as of early August. Eruptive event to potentially last years.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 01 Aug 2018 21:16 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Aug 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Click on the above image for an interactive map to view the affected area and evacuation zones.

Summary

Although lava continues to actively erupt from a volcanic fissure in the Leilani Estates area of Hawaii, officials have observed minimal growth of flow fields in recent weeks. Only one fissure is active as of Aug. 1; the vent is producing a channelized flow of lava, which is traveling to ocean entry points near Pohoiki (Isaac Hale Park). Although nearly two dozen additional volcanic fissures are not emitting lava as of early August, levels of gas and steam remain high in the region.

A study recently completed by the US Geological Survey (USGS) has stated that, due to the volume of lava being emitted and the ongoing reduction of magma from the Kilauea summit, the eruption in the lower East Rift Zone could persist for years. A pause in the eruption, followed by the resumption of activity, could occur in the region during this time frame.

Moderate seismic activity is an ongoing occurrence at the Kilauea summit. Because of this, residents in the surrounding area are being advised to monitor gas, electricity, and water connections continually following noticeable earthquakes. Most tremors have been below magnitude-5.5 and not resulted in property damage or prompted tsunami warnings. Despite this, some noticeable cracks in Highway 11 have occurred near the community of Volcano. Small plumes of ash have also been reported during summit collapse events at Halemaumau Crater. These plumes have been minor in recent weeks and typically only resulted in light ashfall in areas to the south and west of the summit.

Business and transport operations outside the lower Puna District remain relatively unaffected by the volcanic activity. Despite this, winds have occasionally spread volcanic fog (also known as 'vog') to other parts of the Big Island. Trade winds typically spread vog to southern and western areas of the island, from Pahoa southward to Ocean View; depending on wind speed and direction, some vog has also moved along the western coast of the Big Island to the Kona area. The volcanic activity has rarely had a significant impact on air quality along the northern and northwestern parts of the island, including in the Hilo, Waimea, and Waikoloa Village areas. Exposure to high levels of vog can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

Potential Volcanic Hazards
Areas near volcanic fissures could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Blockages in the channelized lava flow could lead to unexpected breakouts to the north and south of the current flow field. Studies have shown that breached lava would take the path of steepest descent, possibly toward the Nanawale Estates and Hawaiian Beaches communities.

Ash and steam eruptions could continue at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit, and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

The interaction between the lava and ocean water continues to produce low-to-moderate amounts of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline; winds have occasionally pushed this plume slightly inland to areas that remain evacuated. In addition, the newly created lava delta in the ocean is highly unstable and can collapse or erode from the surf.

Transport
The ongoing eruptive event is causing only localized transport disruptions near the active lava flows and evacuated communities. Dozens of roads in and around Leilani Estates and Kapoho, including highways 132 and 137, have been completely blocked or destroyed by lava flows. Many roads in the lower Puna District are restricted to locals and authorities; access to the region will likely be limited for the duration of the eruptive event. A flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded nearly 40,000 low-to-moderate intensity earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. As of Aug. 1, estimates indicate that at least 700 homes have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until the eruptive phase has concluded. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans if located in areas to the north of the current lava flow field. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if vog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

Update 21:
Lava flows push south toward Pohoiki, Hawaii, US mid-July. Business and transport normal outside lower Puna District. 

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 07/13/18 01:17 UTC and is scheduled to expire 07/31/18 23:59 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Click on the above image for an interactive map to view the affected area and evacuation zones.

Summary
Lava flows continue to expand in Hawaii's lower Puna District as of mid-July. The Pacific Ocean entry point has shifted to the south away from Vacationland; as of July 13, the front of the flow is approaching Pohoiki (also known as Isaac Hale Park). The Kua O Ka La Charter School and the Ahalanui Beach Park were both destroyed by lava in recent days. Although several other volcanic fissures are not emitting lava as of mid-July, emissions of gas and steam remain high in the region. 

Moderate eruptive events and seismic activity are regular occurrences at the Kilauea summit. Because of this, residents near the summit are being advised to continually monitor gas, electricity, and water connections following noticeable earthquakes. Most tremors have been below magnitude-5.4, and have had not resulted in major damage or prompted tsunami warnings. Ash plumes have been minor in recent weeks, with light ashfall reported in areas to the south and west of Halemaumau Crater. As of July 13, estimates indicate that at least 700 homes have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May. Over 200 people remain displaced in emergency shelters.

The lava entry zone at the Pacific Ocean remains hazardous, and authorities have restricted access to authorized personnel. The interaction between the lava and ocean water continues to produce low-to-moderate amounts of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline; winds have occasionally pushed this plume slightly inland to areas that remain evacuated. In addition, the newly created lava delta in the ocean is highly unstable and can collapse or erode from the surf. 

Business and transport operations outside the lower Puna District remain relatively unaffected by the volcanic activity. Despite this, winds have occasionally spread volcanic fog (also known as 'vog') to other parts of the Big Island. Trade winds typically spread vog to southern and western areas of the island, from Pahoa southward to Ocean View; depending on wind speed and direction, some vog has also moved along the western coast of the Big Island to the Kona area. The volcanic activity has rarely had a significant impact on air quality along the northern and northwestern parts of the island, including in the Hilo, Waimea, and Waikoloa Village areas. Exposure to high levels of vog can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Lava emissions will likely continue in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near volcanic fissures could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Transport
As of July 13, dozens of roads in and around Leilani Estates and Kapoho have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Closed between Highway 132 and Papaya Farms Road
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Roads in Leilani Estates west of Pomaikai Street are restricted to residents only. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 27,000 low-to-moderate intensity earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if vog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

UPDATE 20:
Gas emissions and lava flows continue in Hawaii, US July 1. Minimal impact to business or transport outside Puna District. 

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 07/01/18 22:13 UTC and expired 07/14/18 01:17 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
The Kilauea Volcano continues to actively erupt in Hawaii's lower Puna District as of July 1. Two volcanic fissures are producing active lava flows, with one channelized flow of lava entering the Pacific Ocean near Kapoho. Although several other volcanic fissures are not emitting lava as of early July, emissions of gas and steam remain high in the region. 

Intermittent eruptive events and moderate seismic activity persist at the Kilauea summit. Because of this, residents near the summit are being advised to continually monitor gas, electricity, and water connections following noticeable earthquakes. Most tremors have been below magnitude-5.4, and have had not resulted in major damage or prompted tsunami warnings. Ash plumes have been minor in recent weeks, with light ashfall reported in areas to the south and west of Halemaumau Crater. As of July 1, estimates indicate that 657 homes have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May. The lava has covered an area of approximately 2,495 hectares (6,164 acres) in the lower Puna District. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported thus far; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

The lava entry zone at the Pacific Ocean remains hazardous, and authorities have restricted access to authorized personnel. The interaction between the lava and ocean water continues to produce a large plume of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline; winds have occasionally pushed this plume slightly inland to areas that remain evacuated. In addition, the newly created lava delta in the ocean is highly unstable and can collapse or erode from the surf. 

Business and transport operations outside the lower Puna District remain relatively unaffected by the volcanic activity. Despite this, winds have occasionally spread volcanic fog (also known as 'vog') to other parts of the Big Island. Tradewinds typically spread vog to southern and western areas of the island, from Pahoa southward to Ocean View; depending on wind speed and direction, some vog has also moved along the western coast of the Big Island to the Kona area. The volcanic activity has rarely had a significant impact on air quality along the northern and northwestern parts of the island, including in the Hilo, Waimea, and Waikoloa Village areas. 

Potential Volcanic Activity
The combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of vog in eastern parts of the Big Island. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Tradewinds typically direct the gases to the south and west, usually sparing the northern extent of the island from poor air quality. During times of weak winds, volcanic gases can also spread to interior parts of the Big Island.

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures have occasionally led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and near Kapoho; localized plumes of laze are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the Leilani Estates area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision, as well as the Kapoho and Vacationland areas; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the communities. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows have surrounded the facility and covered at least two well sites; however, authorities have secured the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. 

Transport
As of July 1, dozens of roads in and around Leilani Estates and Kapoho have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Closed between Highway 132 and Papaya Farms Road
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Roads in Leilani Estates west of Pomaikai Street, as well as those along highways 130 and 137 to the south and west of the Leilani subdivision, are restricted to residents only. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 20,000 low-to-moderate intensity earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if vog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

UPDATE 19:
Minimal change in volcanic activity observed in Hawaii, US, June 20. Business and transport normal outside lower Puna District. 

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 06/20/18 22:31 UTC and expired 07/01/18 22:13 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Observations in Hawaii's lower Puna District show no significant changes in volcanic activity as of June 20. One volcanic fissure in the Leilani Estates neighborhood continues to produce a vigorous lava flow that is entering the Pacific Ocean near Kapoho; three other fissures have produced only minor lava spattering activity in the past few days. Although 20 other volcanic fissures are not emitting lava as of June 20, emissions of gas and steam remain high in the region. 

The lava entry zone at the Pacific Ocean is hazardous, and authorities have restricted access to authorized personnel. The interaction between the lava and ocean water continues to produce a large plume of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline; winds have occasionally pushed this plume slightly inland to areas that remain evacuated. In addition, the newly created lava delta in the ocean is highly unstable and can collapse or erode from the surf. 

Business and transport operations outside the lower Puna District remain relatively unaffected by the volcanic activity. Despite this, winds have occasionally spread volcanic fog (also known as 'vog') to other parts of the Big Island. Tradewinds typically spread vog to southern and western areas of the island, from Pahoa southward to Ocean View; depending on wind speed and direction, some vog has also moved along the western coast of the Big Island to the Kona area. The volcanic activity has rarely had a significant impact on air quality along the northern and northwestern parts of the island, including in the Hilo, Waimea, and Waikoloa Village areas. 

Intermittent eruptive events and moderate seismic activity persist at the Kilauea summit. Observers have noted occasional ash plumes in recent days, resulting in light ashfall in areas to the south and west of Halemaumau Crater. As of June 20, estimates indicate that over 600 homes have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported as of June 20; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
The combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of vog in eastern parts of the Big Island. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Tradewinds typically direct the gases to the south and west, usually sparing the northern extent of the island from poor air quality. During times of weak winds, volcanic gases can also spread to interior parts of the Big Island.

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures have occasionally led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and near Kapoho; localized plumes of laze are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the Leilani Estates area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision, as well as the Kapoho and Vacationland areas; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the communities. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows have surrounded the facility and covered at least two well sites; however, authorities have secured the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. 

Transport
As of June 20, dozens of roads in and around Leilani Estates and Kapoho have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Restricted to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Roads in Leilani Estates west of Pomaikai Street, as well as those along highways 130 and 137 to the south and west of the Leilani subdivision, are restricted to residents only. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 12,000 earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if vog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

UPDATE 18:
Gas emissions remain high in Puna District, Hawaii, US. Vog forecast in southern/western areas of Big Island through June 18.

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 06/14/18 20:57 UTC and expired 06/20/18 23:59 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Lava flows and gas emissions continue in Hawaii's lower Puna District as of June 14. Only three of 24 volcanic fissures are currently active, with one producing a channelized lava flow from Leilani Estates to the Pacific Ocean in the Kapoho area. The interaction between the lava and ocean water continues to produce a large plume of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline; winds have occasionally pushed this plume slightly inland to areas that remain evacuated. 

Authorities have observed very high concentrations of sulfur dioxide emissions at the fissure sites as of June 14. Forecast models indicate that weak trade winds could allow for areas of volcanic fog (also known as 'vog') to spread to southern and western areas of the island through at least June 18. Vog conditions are possible from Pahoa southward to Ocean View; depending on wind speed and direction, some vog could also move along the western coast of the Big Island to possibly the Kona area. Air quality should remain relatively unaffected by the volcanic activity along the northern and northwestern parts of the island, including in the Hilo, Waimea, and Waikoloa Village areas. 

Intermittent eruptive events and moderate seismic activity persist at the Kilauea summit. Observers have noted occasional ash plumes in recent days, resulting in light ashfall in areas to the south and west of Halemaumau Crater. As of June 14, estimates indicate that nearly 700 homes have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported as of June 14; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
The combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of vog in eastern parts of the Big Island. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Trade winds typically direct the gases to the south and west, usually sparing the northern extent of the island from poor air quality. During times of weak winds, volcanic gases can also spread to interior parts of the Big Island.

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures have occasionally led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and near Kapoho; localized plumes of laze are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the Leilani Estates area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision, as well as the Kapoho and Vacationland areas; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the communities. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows have surrounded the facility and covered at least two well sites; however, authorities have secured the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. 

Transport
As of June 14, at least 24 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Restricted to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 12,000 earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

UPDATE 17:
Portion of Leilani Estates, Hawaii, US, reopened to residents. Lava and gas emissions continue in Puna District as of June 11.

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 06/11/18 18:02 UTC and expired 06/15/18 00:22 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Authorities have permitted residents to return to a portion of Hawaii's Leilani Estates amid ongoing volcanic activity in the lower Puna District. The area west of Pomaikai Street has reopened to residents with official identification credentials; no curfew is in effect for this area. As of June 11, large lava fountains continue at a volcanic fissure near the former intersection of Leilani Avenue and Luana Street; lava flows have descended the terrain along Highway 132 to the Kapoho area. A new lava delta in the Pacific Ocean has formed after flows filled Kapoho Bay. Interaction between the lava and ocean water continues to produce a large plume of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline.

Two other fissures in the Leilani Estates area have reactivated, but no new major flows have developed as of early June 11. Emissions of sulfur dioxide remain elevated at the fissure sites, and trade winds are forecast to direct the gases to the southern and western sides of the island between Pahala, Ocean View, and Kona, over the coming days. Air quality conditions should remain relatively unaffected by the volcanic activity along the northern extent of the island. 

An explosive eruption at the Kilauea summit resulted in a moderate earthquake around 0445 June 11. The epicenter of the 5.3-magnitude tremor was centered in the Halemaumau Crater; like previous earthquakes in the region, the event did not trigger a tsunami warning. Ashfall could occur near the crater and areas to the south and west over the coming hours. 

As of June 11, estimates indicate that over 600 homes have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported as of June 12; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
The combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Trade winds typically direct the gases to southern and western parts of the island, usually sparing the northern extent of the island from poor air quality. During times of weak winds, volcanic gases can also spread to interior parts of the Big Island.

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures have occasionally led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and near Kapoho; localized plumes of laze are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the areas near the volcanic fissures. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision, as well as the Kapoho and Vacationland areas; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the communities. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows have surrounded the facility and covered at least two well sites; however, authorities have secured the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. 

Transport
As of June 11, at least 24 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Restricted to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 12,000 earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

Update 16:
Lava flows and laze continue in the Kapoho area of Hawaii, US as of June 6. Continue to avoid the lower Puna District. 

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 06/07/18 00:57 UTC and expired 06/11/18 17:03 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
A single volcanic fissure located in Hawaii's Leilani Estates continues to produce a channelized lava flow along Highway 132 to the Kapoho area. As of June 6, lava has completely inundated Vacationland and filled Kapoho Bay, extending nearly 1.6 km (1 mile) offshore. Interaction between the lava and ocean water has produced a large plume of lava haze (also known as "laze") along the Kapoho area coastline; winds have occasionally directed the laze plume farther inland. Although only one fissure is active as of June 6, current vents could reactivate at any time, and new fissures could form in the coming days and weeks. 

Forecast models indicate that weak easterly winds will be prevalent over the Big Island through June 9. The winds - along with the high levels of gas and ash output from the current eruptive event - have the potential to decrease air quality throughout much of the central and southern parts of the island. Stronger trade winds should improve air quality conditions by June 10.

As of June 6, unconfirmed estimates indicate that over 200 structures might have been destroyed by the lava flows since the beginning of May. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported as of June 6; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to report high levels of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures and near the summit of Kilauea; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. 

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures have occasionally led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and at Kapoho Bay; localized plumes of laze are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the surrounding area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Evacuations
As of June 6, thousands of residents in the lower Puna District have been placed under evacuation orders. At least a dozen residents refused to heed the warnings, and are now isolated without electricity, cell service, or water. Authorities are prepared to transport these residents by helicopter if lava further spreads in the region. Individuals residing down-rift of the current fissure system are advised to prepare to evacuate without warning.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision, as well as the Kapoho and Vacationland areas; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the communities. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows are also encroaching on the facility; however, authorities have secured well sites on the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. As of June 6, at least two wells have been covered by lava flows, and the facility's access road has been cut off. 

Transport
As of June 6, at least 24 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Restricted to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 12,000 earthquakes in the region since early May, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com
Big Island Air Quality Conditions: response.epa.gov

 

UPDATE 15:
Lava flows reach Kapoho Bay area of Puna District, Hawaii, US, June 4. Seismic activity remains elevated near Kilauea summit. 

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 06/04/18 21:37 UTC and expired 06/07/18 00:58 UTC

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Although most volcanic fissures in Hawaii's Leilani Estates have been inactive in recent days, significant lava fountaining persists from a single vent located near the former intersection of Leilani Avenue and Luana Street. As of June 4, lava flows from the fissure were channeling along Highway 132 to the Kapoho area. Lava has crossed Highway 137 and entered the ocean at Kapoho Bay, prohibiting access to Kapoho and Vacationland. Current vents could reactivate at any time, and new fissures could form in the coming days and weeks. 

After a brief lull in seismic activity, a heightened number of earthquakes have been observed near the Kilauea summit. A magnitude-5.5 earthquake, likely the result of an eruption and further collapse of debris into the Halemaumau crater, occurred during the afternoon of June 3. The eruption also produced an ash plume that reached a height of approximately 2.5 km (1.5 miles) above sea level. Additional eruptions at the summit and moderate earthquakes are possible in the lower Puna District in the coming days as lava continues to be supplied to the East Rift Zone.

As of June 4, at least 117 houses have been destroyed by the lava flows. The latest estimates do not include any houses that were likely destroyed when lava recently entered Kapoho Bay. Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported as of June 4; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to report high levels of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures and near the summit of Kilauea; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Trade winds have generally contained most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations recorded along the southern and western coastlines; however, unhealthy air quality has recently been observed along the western coastline between Ocean View and Kona. Forecast models indicate that the reduction in air quality could persist through at least June 6. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. 

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures has led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area and at Kapoho Bay; localized plumes of lava haze (also known as "laze") are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the surrounding area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Evacuations
As of June 4, thousands of residents in the lower Puna District have been placed under evacuation orders. At least a dozen residents refused to heed the warnings, and are now isolated without electricity, cell service, or water. Authorities are prepared to transport these residents by helicopter if lava further spreads in the region. Individuals residing down-rift of the current fissure system are advised to prepare to evacuate without warning.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision, as well as the Kapoho and Vacationland areas; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the communities. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows are also encroaching on the facility; however, authorities have secured well sites on the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. As of June 4, at least two wells have been covered by lava flows, and the facility's access road has been cut off. 

Transport
As of June 4, at least 24 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Lighthouse Road
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Highway 132
  • Beach Road: Restricted to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

 

 

UPDATE 14:
Lava flows advance towards Kapoho, Hawaii. Residents urged to evacuate, continue to avoid the area. 

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 06/01/18 21:43 UTC and expired 06/04/18 21:39 UTC. 

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary

Authorities are urging residents in eastern Puna District to quickly evacuate as lava flows continue to expand June 1. Individuals who have yet to heed evacuation orders in the Leilani Estates area east of Pomaikai Street are advised to leave by 1200; residents of the Kapoho area, including Vacationland and the Kapoho Beach Lots, should complete evacuations by 1400. Those who stay in the area past these times risk becoming isolated. The fast-moving lava flows are expected to cross Beach Road by the evening of June 1; this route is the only remaining access point to the communities. 

Residents have been evacuated from the Cinderland EcoVillage as well as along Noni Farms, Papaya Farms, and Halekamahina roads due to a lava flow that has crossed Highway 132. Hawaii Electric Light reports that damage to their distribution network has resulted in new power outages in the Vacationland and Kapoho areas. 

As of June 1, at least 82 structures have been destroyed by the lava flows. Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows. Only one known lava-related injury has been reported as of June 1; a resident was struck in the leg by spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to report high levels of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Tradewinds have generally contained most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations recorded along the southern and western coastlines. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. 

Observations indicate that the ongoing heat released by the volcanic fissures has led to the development of pyrocumulus clouds over the Leilani Estates area. These rising columns of hot air could collapse at any time and create unpredictable wind shifts in any direction. Pyrocumulus clouds have the potential to generate localized thunderstorms; if rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area; localized plumes of lava haze (also known as "laze") are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the surrounding area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Evacuations
As of June 1, thousands of residents in the lower Puna District have been placed under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders. Authorities are prepared to transport residents by helicopter if lava flows block Beach Road. Individuals residing down-rift of the current fissure system are advised to prepare to evacuate without warning.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents. 

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network in the area, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PVG) plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The lava flows are also encroaching on the facility; however, authorities have secured well sites on the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide. As of June 1, at least two wells have been covered by lava flows, and the facility's access road has been cut off. 

Transport
As of June 1, at least 23 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Highway 137
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. A temporary flight restriction is ongoing within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

 

  1. Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes
  2. Related Advice: Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals
  3. Related Advice: Health Concerns Related to Volcanic Activity

UPDATE 13:
Evacuations and power outages expand in Puna District, Hawaii, US, May 30. Avoid Leilani Estates/Kapoho areas.

Worldcue® Alert
Severity: Warning Alert

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 05/30/18 20:47 UTC and is scheduled to expire 06/04/18 23:59 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary 

Lava flows originating in the Leilani Estates area continue to expand on May 30. As of the morning, the flows are approaching the Kapoho area of the lower Puna District, prompting authorities to advise residents in the Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland to evacuate as a precaution. If lava flows continue on their current trajectory, they could isolate residents by blocking Beach Road, which is the only remaining access point to the communities. Residents have also been evacuated along Noni Farms and Halekamahina roads due to a lava flow near Highway 132. Hawaii Electric Light reports that damage to their distribution network has resulted in new power outages in the Vacationland and Kapoho areas.

To facilitate the new evacuations, authorities have restricted Beach Road to only outbound traffic until further notice. Lava fountains of up to 61 meters (200 feet) continue to eject from a reactivated volcanic fissure in the Leilani Estates area. The lava flows are also encroaching on Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) property; however, authorities have secured well sites on the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide.

The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the surrounding area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

As of May 30, at least 82 structures have been destroyed by the lava flows. Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows. Only one known injury related to the increased volcanic activity has been reported as of May 30; a resident was struck in the leg by lava spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities have seen dramatic increases in the level of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Trade winds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. High concentrations of vog could result in low visibility. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area; localized plumes of lava haze (also known as "laze") are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels have resulted in intermittent ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 30 due to ongoing volcanic activity. No access is permitted to Lanipuna Gardens until further notice due to dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide. Authorities could upgrade evacuation orders from voluntary to mandatory in the Kapoho and Vacationland areas in the coming days depending on the advancement of lava flows. Authorities are prepared to transport residents by helicopter if lava flows block Beach Road. Individuals residing down-rift of the current fissure system are advised to prepare to evacuate without warning.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network in the area, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the PVG plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. Lava flows are near the facility, and crews have successfully plugged all well sites at the venture to lessen the risk of explosive events. As of May 30, at least two wells have been covered by lava flows, and the facility's access road has been cut off.

Transport
As of May 30, at least 23 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 132: Closed between Kaululaau Street and Highway 137
  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources

Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com


Update 12:
Lava flows expand in Puna District, Hawaii, US, May 29. Road closures and evacuations continue. Avoid the area.

Locations affected by this alert: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 05/29/18 20:53 UTC and expired 05/30/18 20:56 UTC.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Fast-moving lava flows continue to expand in parts of the lower Puna District of Hawaii as of May 29. Lava fountains of up to 61 meters (200 feet) have been reported out of a reactivated volcanic fissure in the Leilani Estates area. The lava flows are currently encroaching on Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) property; however, authorities have secured well sites on the property and are continually monitoring for releases of hydrogen sulfide.

In addition to the ongoing activity in the Leilani subdivision, authorities continue to observe ash emissions from the Halemaumau Crater at the summit of the Kilauea Volcano. A sizeable eruption early May 29 resulted in an ash plume that reached an altitude of 4.5 km (2.8 miles). Calm winds in the region resulted in only slight movement of the plume to the northwest. The US National Weather Service has warned of falling strands of glass fibers (also known locally as "Pele's Hair") in the Pahoa area. The material is formed during lava fountaining events and carried by the wind. The glass is abrasive; contact with the strands can result in lung and eye damage.

As of May 29, at least 82 structures have been destroyed by the lava flows. Hawaii Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows. Only one known injury related to the increased volcanic activity has been reported as of May 29; a resident was struck in the leg by lava spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities have seen dramatic increases in the level of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Tradewinds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines. Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. High concentrations of vog could result in low visibility. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area; localized plumes of lava haze (also known as "laze") are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels resulted in the steam and ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to central and eastern areas of the Big Island, including the districts of Puna, Ka'u, Hilo, and Hamakua. If the plume is large and winds blow to the west, some ashfall might be possible in parts of Kohala and Kona districts.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 29 due to ongoing volcanic activity. No access is permitted to Lanipuna Gardens until further notice due to dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days. Authorities are prepared to transport additional residents by helicopter if lava flows block evacuation routes. Individuals residing down-rift of the current fissure system are advised to prepare to evacuate without advanced warning.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed the electrical distribution network in the area, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the PVG plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. Lava flows are near the facility, and crews have successfully plugged all well sites at the venture to lessen the risk of explosive events. As of May 29, at least two wells have been covered by lava flows and the facility's access road has been cut off.

Transport
As of May 29, at least 23 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

Highway 132: Closed between Lava Tree State Monument to Highway 137
Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road
Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137
Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

 

Update 11:
Lava flows and gas emissions persist in lower Puna District Hawaii, US, May 25. Avoid evacuation/restricted zones.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 26 May 2018 00:16 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Lava flows and gas emissions continue to occur in Hawaii's Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens residential areas as of May 25. Although not all of the 23 volcanic fissures in the area are currently active, lava fountaining and spattering from several vents in the center of the fissure system is being observed. Lava flows continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Recreation Area; localized plumes of lava haze (also known as "laze") are ongoing in the coastal area near the entry points. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

The fissures continue to emit high levels of sulfur dioxide in the Leilani subdivision. Forecast models indicate that trade winds could weaken May 26-27, possibly allowing high concentrations of gases to collect in the lower Puna District. Authorities continue to observe moderate ash emissions and heightened seismic activity at the Kilauea summit. An eruption May 24 produced an ash plume that reached an estimated height of 3 km (2 miles) and was directed to the southwest of the crater. Additional explosions at the summit are possible in the coming days and weeks; previous ash and gas plumes have reached as high as 9 km (5.5 miles) into the air and resulted in light ashfall in the surrounding area.

As of May 25, at least 50 structures have been destroyed by the lava flows. Hawaii Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows. Only one known injury related to the increased volcanic activity has been reported as of May 25; a resident was struck in the leg by lava spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities have seen dramatic increases in the level of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Tradewinds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines.

Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Concentrations of vog will probably decrease if dispersed over a large area; however, lower visibility cannot be ruled out. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels resulted in the steam and ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to eastern areas of the Big Island, including Ka'u Desert, Kea'au, and possibly Hilo.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 25 due to ongoing volcanic activity. No access is permitted to Lanipuna Gardens until further notice due to dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days. Authorities are prepared to transport additional residents by helicopter if lava flows block evacuation routes. Individuals residing down-rift of the current fissure system are advised to prepare to evacuate without advanced warning.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed much of the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. Lava flows are near the facility, and work is being done to secure well sites at the venture to lessen the risk of explosive events.

An emergency water restriction has been declared in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. A newly built bypass waterline was damaged during a recent fissure event; water access has been established for residents at the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and in Vacationland.

Transport
As of May 25, at least 22 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

  • Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road
  • Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137
  • Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes
Related Advice: Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals
Related Advice: Health Concerns Related to Volcanic Activity

 


UPDATE 10:
Lava flows reach the Pacific Ocean amid ongoing volcanic activity in Puna District, Hawaii, US, May 21. Avoid the area.

Locations affected by this alert:  Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 05/21/18 22:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05/25/18 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (< ahref="https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1FypXoQwOlcQqlMk-Axn5ukbjivS7X5BC">map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary

Moderate lava emissions continue at several active volcanic fissures in Hawaii's Puna District as of May 21. Two flows combined south of Pohoiki Road and have reached the Pacific Ocean near Highway 137. The interaction of the lava with salt water is raising concerns about lava haze (also known as "laze") in coastal areas near the active flows. Laze steam contains dangerous levels of hydrochloric acid and glass particles, which can cause lung damage and eye/skin irritation. The US Coast Guard is patrolling the area and restricting access to only authorized vessels; wind direction along the coast could direct the laze to inland areas with little warning.

Continued lava fountaining and spatter activity remains possible, especially along the northeastern extent of the current fissure system in the Leilani subdivision. Authorities predict that new fissures could continue to materialize uprift (to the southwest) or downrift (to the northeast) of the existing line.

A minor ash emission occurred at the summit of Kilauea during the early morning hours of May 21; the plume reached an estimated height of 2.1 km (1.3 miles) and was directed to the southwest of the crater. Additional explosions at the summit are possible in the coming days and weeks; previous ash and gas plumes have reached as high as 9 km (5.5 miles) into the air and resulted in light ashfall in the surrounding area. Seismic activity, which temporarily decreased May 16-17, has since reintensified the East Rift Zone.

As of May 21, at least 47 structures have been destroyed by the lava flows. Hawaii Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows. Only one known injury related to the increased volcanic activity has been reported as of May 21; a resident was struck in the leg by lava spatter on his property near the northeastern extent of the fissure line.

Potential Volcanic Activity

Authorities have seen dramatic increases in the level of sulfur dioxide being emitted at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Tradewinds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines.

Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Concentrations of vog will probably decrease if dispersed over a large area; however, lower visibility cannot be ruled out. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is ongoing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Further ash and steam eruptions could occur at the Kilauea summit due to low levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels resulted in the steam and ash plumes. Further steam-driven explosions are possible if the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop. During this type of explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to eastern areas of the Big Island, including Ka'u Desert, Kea'au, and possibly Hilo.

Evacuations

Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 21 due to ongoing volcanic activity. Authorities expanded the mandatory evacuations to include areas along Ala'Ili Road. Homeowners are permitted to check on their properties and retrieve valuables 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting. No access is permitted to Lanipuna Gardens until further notice due to dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days.

Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities

Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed much of the electrical distribution network, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity.

An emergency water restriction has been declared in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. A newly built bypass waterline was damaged during a recent fissure event; water access has been established for residents at the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and in Vacationland.

Transport

As of May 21, at least 16 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. The following major road closures are in effect:

Highway 137: Closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road

Kamaili Road: Closed between highways 130 and 137

Pohoiki Road: Closed between highways 132 and 137

Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis

The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice

Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to road closures and traffic congestion in the Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog, laze, or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources

Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense:www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

 

Update 9: New Volcanic Fissures Identified in Puna District, Hawaii, US, May 18. Lava emissions continue; seismic activity increasing.

 

Locations affected by this alert:  Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 05/18/18 22:03 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05/21/18 23:59 GMT.

 

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions, property destruction, utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has identified new fissures in the Puna District as of May 18. At least 22 volcanic fissures have been reported in the Leilani subdivision; six of the fissures are producing lava spattering and lava flows as of the morning. Authorities predict that new fissures could continue to materialize uprift (to the southwest) or downrift (to the northeast) of the existing fissure line. The most significant buildups of lava have occurred along Luana, Makamae, and Leilani streets, as well as on private property south of Highway 132.

No additional significant ash emissions have been reported at the summit of Kilauea since early May 17. However, additional explosions at the crater are possible in the coming days and weeks; previous ash and gas plumes have reached as high as 9 km (5.5 miles) into the air and resulted in light ashfall in the surrounding area. Seismic activity, which decreased May 16-17, is starting to once again intensify in the East Rift Zone. 

As of the morning of May 18, at least 40 structures have been destroyed by the lava flows. Hawaii Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to observe high levels of sulfur dioxide at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Tradewinds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines. 

Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Concentrations of vog will probably decrease if dispersed over a large area; however, lower visibility cannot be ruled out. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Resumed lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity is once again increasing at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; further high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

The May 17 eruption at the Kilauea summit was caused by declining levels in the lava lake in the Halemaumau Crater. Falling rock and the presence of groundwater at these lower levels resulted in the steam and ash plume. Further steam-driven explosions are possible as the level of the lava in the crater continues to drop steadily. During a steam-driven explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Depending on the size of the plume and the wind direction, any resulting ashfall will likely be contained to eastern areas of the Big Island, including Ka'u Desert, Kea'au, and possibly Hilo.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 18 due to ongoing volcanic activity. Authorities recently expanded the mandatory evacuations to include areas along Ala'Ili Road. Homeowners are permitted to check on their properties and retrieve valuables 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting. No access is permitted to Lanipuna Gardens until further notice due to dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide. 

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days. 

Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents. 

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed an estimated 50 utility poles, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. The May 17 explosive eruption and associated earthquakes caused approximately 14,000 customers to lose electricity. While many quickly regained power, the electric company warned that gas levels in some areas are too high to safely repair all the damaged equipment. Some customers may experience extended or recurring blackouts.

An emergency water restriction has been declared in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. A newly built bypass waterline was damaged during a recent fissure event; water access has been established for residents at the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and in Vacationland. 

Transport
As of the morning of May 18, at least 11 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. Only residents with authorization are allowed past established checkpoints on highways 130, 132, and 137. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways 
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

 

UPDATE 8: Gas and lava emissions continue at several volcanic fissures in Leilani Estates, Hawaii, US, May 17. Adhere to evacuation orders.

The locations affected by this alert are: Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 18 May 2018 04:54 GMT and is scheduled to expire 22 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions, property destruction, utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Volcanic activity continues in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District as of May 17. An explosive eruption at the summit of the Kilauea Volcano, May 17 prompted officials to warn pilots to avoid the ash cloud and announce that they would distribute N95 masks to residents. Officials have identified at least 20 fissures in the region, and lava emissions are ongoing at several points along the northeastern extent of the fissure line. Many volcanic vents continue to spew high levels of sulfur dioxide in the lower Puna District. The most recent lava flow is on private property and is not currently threatening any structures; the lava is generally moving to the east and southeast, roughly parallel to Highway 132.

As of May 17, at least 38 structures have been destroyed. Hawaii Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to observe high levels of sulfur dioxide at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Trade winds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines.

Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Concentrations of vog will probably decrease if dispersed over a large area; however, lower visibility cannot be ruled out. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur and can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Resumed lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity remains elevated at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout Puna District; further high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

The May 17 eruption at the summit of the Kilauea Volcano was caused by the lava lake in Kilauea's creator falling and coming in contact with groundwater. The temperature of the lava is high enough to flash-boil large amounts of water, causing major steam explosions. Further steam explosions are possible as the level of the lava in the crater continues to steadily drop. During a steam-driven explosion, large projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. Steam explosions would also cause earthquakes in the area. As of the evening of May 17, ash emissions were ongoing at the Halemaumau Crater, resulting in light ashfall to the southwest of the volcano, including in the Ka'u Desert and downwind areas. Ash has been reported along Highway 11 between Volcanoes National Park and Pahala.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 15 due to ongoing volcanic activity. Authorities recently expanded the mandatory evacuations to include areas along Ala'Ili Road. Homeowners are permitted to check on their properties and retrieve valuables 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting. Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days.

Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed an estimated 50 utility poles, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. An emergency water restriction has been declared in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. The May 17 explosive eruption and associated earthquakes caused approximately 14,000 customers to lose electricity. While many quickly regained power, the electric company warned that gas levels in some areas are too high to safely repair all the damaged equipment. Some customers may experience extended or recurring blackouts. A newly built bypass waterline was damaged during a recent fissure event; water access has been established for residents at the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and in Vacationland.

Transport
As of the morning of May 15, at least 11 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have continued for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes
Related Advice: Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals
Related Advice: Health Concerns Related to Volcanic Activity

Environment: UPDATE 7: Gas and lava emissions continue at several volcanic fissures in Leilani Estates, Hawaii, US, May 15. Adhere to evacuation orders.

The locations affected by this alert are:  Hilo, Hawaii, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This alert began 15 May 2018 21:26 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Volcanic activity continues in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District as of the morning of May 15. Officials have identified at least 20 fissures in the region, and lava emissions are ongoing at several points along the northeastern extent of the fissure line. Many volcanic vents continue to spew high levels of sulfur dioxide in the lower Puna District. The most recent lava flow is on private property and is not currently threatening any structures; the lava is generally moving to the east and southeast, roughly parallel to Highway 132.

As of the morning of May 15, at least 37 structures have been destroyed. Hawaii Gov. David Ige declared a state of emergency in Hawaii County due to the lava flows.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to observe high levels of sulfur dioxide at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Trade winds are forecast to keep most of the vog over the Big Island, with the highest concentrations likely along the southern and western coastlines.

Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Concentrations of vog will probably decrease if dispersed over a large area; however, lower visibility cannot be ruled out. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur; acid rain can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Resumed lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are likely in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity remains elevated at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout the Puna District; further high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Observations indicate the lava lake in the crater at the Kilauea Volcano summit is declining steadily. Officials warn that, if the lava drops to groundwater level, the presence of water could result in significant steam-driven explosions. During a steam-driven explosion, ballistic projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area. As of the morning of May 15, ash emissions were ongoing at the Halemaumau Crater, resulting in light ashfall to the southwest of the volcano, including in the Ka'u Desert and downwind areas. Ash has been reported along Highway 11 between Volcanoes National Park and Pahala.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens as of May 15 due to ongoing volcanic activity. Authorities recently expanded the mandatory evacuations to include areas along Ala'Ili Road. Homeowners are permitted to check on their properties and retrieve valuables 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting. Hawaii County Civil Defense officials have ordered all vacation rentals in the nearby area to suspend operations temporarily so that emergency responders can focus on residents who live in the region. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days.

Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Power has been cut to much of the Leilani subdivision; lava flows have destroyed an estimated 50 utility poles, and authorities have not provided estimated restoration times for the community. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews have removed hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. An emergency water restriction has been declared in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. A newly built bypass waterline was damaged during a recent fissure event; water access has been established for residents at the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and in Vacationland.

Transport
As of the morning of May 15, at least 11 roads in and around Leilani Estates have been closed by authorities or completely blocked by lava flows. Major road closures include Highway 130 between Malama Street and Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road between Highway 137 and Highway 132. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity. Authorities maintain a temporary flight restriction within a 22-km (14-mile) radius around the Kilauea summit.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have persisted for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes
Related Advice: Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals
Related Advice: Health Concerns Related to Volcanic Activity

 

Environment: UPDATE 6: Evacuations expand in Hawaii, US, amid volcanic activity. Spread of volcanic smog possible in Maui and Molokai through May 12.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Molokai, Hawaii

This alert began 10 May 2018 17:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations; ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages; possible health concerns

Summary
Officials from Hawaii County Civil Defense report that most lava flows have paused in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District as of the morning of May 10. Although active lava emissions have temporarily ceased, large amounts of sulfur dioxide continue to emit from 15 fissures in and around Leilani Estates. The volcanic vents have been identified from south of the Malama/Alapai street intersection to Pohoiki Road, with the most significant buildup of lava occurring along Luana, Makamae, and Leilani streets. Cracks observed along Highway 130 have continued to widen over recent days, which is a possible indication of new volcanic vent formation.

As of the morning of May 10, at least 36 structures have been destroyed. Lava flows have covered an estimated 47 hectares (116 acres) of land in Leilani Estates. Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a state of emergency declaration in Hawaii County due to the lava flows.

Potential Volcanic Activity
Authorities continue to observe high levels of sulfur dioxide at the fissures; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture has produced an area of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") off the southern coast of the Big Island. Trade winds are forecast to weaken over the Hawaiian Islands through May 12, which could allow the vog to spread along the western coast of the Big Island and possibly northward to parts of Maui and Molokai over the coming days. The winds are predicted to resume May 13, which will likely limit the extent of the vog area.

Exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can lead to skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, particularly in individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Concentrations of vog will probably decrease if dispersed over a large area; however, lower visibility cannot be ruled out. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur; acid rainfall can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Resumed lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are possible in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity remains elevated at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout the Puna District; further high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Observations indicate the steady decline of the lava lake in the crater at the Kilauea Volcano summit. Officials warn that if the lava drops to groundwater level, the presence of water could result in significant steam-driven explosions. During a steam-driven explosion, ballistic projectiles could be ejected near the summit and ashfall would be likely in the surrounding area.

Evacuations
Nearly 2,000 residents remain displaced in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens May 10 due to ongoing volcanic activity. Authorities recently expanded the mandatory evacuations to include areas along Ala'Ili Road. Homeowners are permitted to check on their properties and retrieve valuables 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days.

Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Crews are working to remove hazardous materials at PGV to offsite locations due to the danger presented by nearby volcanic activity. An emergency water restriction has been declared in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho. A newly built bypass waterline was damaged during a recent fissure event; water access has been established for residents at the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and in Vacationland.

Transport
As of the morning of May 10, authorities maintain a closure along Highway 130 between Malama Street and Kamaili Road. Crews detected cracks in the pavement south of Leilani Estates, which could indicate new fissure formation. Pohoiki Road is also closed between Highway 132 and Highway 137. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity.

A temporary flight restriction has been established within a 3.7-km (2.3-mile) radius of the Puu Oo vent through at least May 14; the restrictions could be further extended if the activity at Kilauea continues into late May.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have persisted for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog or acid rain is occurring; if unable to avoid such atmospheric phenomena completely, protect the air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov
Hawaii County Lava/Evacuation Map: hawaiicountygis.maps.arcgis.com

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes
Related Advice: Inhalation of Toxic Chemicals
Related Advice: Health Concerns Related to Volcanic Activity

Environment: UPDATE 5: Intermittent lava emissions continue in Puna District, Hawaii, US, May 9. New fissures identified near Leilani Estates.

This alert affects: Hilo, Hawaii

This alert began 09 May 2018 18:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages

Summary
Lava emissions have lessened somewhat in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District as of early May 9. Despite the decrease in active eruptions, authorities continue to find new volcanic fissures near Leilani Estates. As of May 9, 14 fissures have been identified from south of the Malama/Alapai street intersection to Pohoiki Road, with the most significant buildup of lava occurring along Luana, Makamae, and Leilani streets. Cracks observed along Highway 130 have continued to widen over recent days, which is possibly an indication of new volcanic vent formation.

As of the morning of May 9, at least 36 structures have been destroyed. Lava flows have covered an estimated 42 hectares (104 acres) of land in Leilani Estates. Hawaii Governor David Ige issued a state of emergency declaration in Hawaii County due to the lava flows.

Potential Volcanic Activity
High levels of sulfur dioxide continue to be observed at the fissures despite an absence of lava emissions; the combination of sulfur dioxide, oxygen, and moisture could lead to episodes of volcanic smog (also known as "vog") and acid rain in the affected area. Trade winds are forecast to weaken over the Big Island through May 11, which could cause vog to blanket parts of the island. If rainfall occurs over areas experiencing vog conditions, acid rain could occur; acid rainfall can contaminate rooftop rainwater-catchment systems.

Resumed lava emissions and new volcanic fissures are possible in the East Rift Zone in the coming days and weeks. Areas near vents could collapse without warning, with ejected lava spatter, gas, and ash possibly being carried to downwind areas. Lava flows in forested areas have the potential to produce methane explosions, which could propel large rocks and boulders into the air. Seismic activity remains elevated at the Kilauea Volcano summit, as well as throughout the Puna District; further high-magnitude earthquakes are possible as magma moves throughout the rift zone.

Evacuations
Over 1,700 residents remain displaced May 9 due to ongoing volcanic activity. Although all residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have been evacuated, homeowners are permitted to check on their properties and retrieve valuables from 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days.

Authorities have established a recovery information and assistance center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pahoa for displaced residents.

Utilities
Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Water service has been interrupted in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho; crews are working to establish a bypass waterline to these communities. The Department of Water Supply has sent a water truck to Vacationland to serve customers until the project is complete.

Transport
As of the morning of May 9, authorities have closed Highway 130 between Malama Street and Kamaili Road. Crews detected cracks in the pavement south of Leilani Estates, which could indicate new fissure formation. Pohoiki Road is also closed between Highway 132 and Hinalo Street. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and changes in volcanic activity.

A temporary flight restriction has been established within a 3.7-km (2.3-mile) radius of the Puu Oo vent through at least May 14; the restrictions could be further extended if the activity at Kilauea continues into late May.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded thousands of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have persisted for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur. Remain indoors if volcanic smog or acid rain is occurring; if unable to completely avoid such atmospheric phenomena, protect the air passages by covering both mouth and nose, as well as shielding the eyes. Cover all exposed skin to prevent chemical particles and droplets from settling and causing irritation.
 

Environment: UPDATE 4: Lava emissions persist in Puna District, Hawaii, US, May 7. Dozens of homes destroyed; authorities maintain evacuation orders.

This alert affects: Hilo, Hawaii

This alert began 07 May 2018 19:37 GMT and is scheduled to expire 11 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages

Summary
Approximately 1,800 residents in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District continue to be displaced May 7 due to ongoing volcanic activity. As of the morning, 10 volcanic fissures have been reported in the Leilani Estates area; many of these fissures remain active and are creating significant lava buildups and flows in the surrounding area. Authorities also continue to report large amounts of sulfur dioxide in the air. The fissures have materialized from south of the Malama/Pomaikai street intersection to Pohoiki Road, with the most significant buildup of lava occurring along Luana, Makamae, and Leilani streets. Although Leilani Estates remains under an evacuation order, residents are permitted to check on their homes and retrieve property 0700-1800 daily, conditions permitting.

Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days. New volcanic vents and lava flows could materialize with little warning, and have the potential to bury roads and property. As of the morning of May 7, at least 35 structures have been destroyed. Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a state of emergency declaration in Hawaii County due to the damage, losses, and suffering caused by the lava flows.

Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts. Water service has been interrupted in Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapoho; crews are working to establish a bypass waterline to these communities. The Department of Water Supply has sent a water truck to Vacationland to serve customers until the project is complete.

As of the morning of May 7, authorities have closed Highway 130 between Highway 132 and Kalapana to all traffic except for Leilani Estate residents. Crews detected cracks in the pavement south of Malama Street, which could indicate new fissure formation. Authorities could implement temporary road closures throughout the Lower Puna District in the coming days due to emergency response needs and the evolution of volcanic activity.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 on May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded hundreds of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. On May 4, a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, resulting in shaking throughout the Big Island and in nearby Maui. Additional seismic activity - some of which could be significant - is likely near the Kilauea Volcano during the current eruptive phase. While it is unclear how long the recent activity will persist in the Leilani Estates area, past eruptive events have persisted for several weeks or months.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Leilani subdivision until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area, and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur.

 

Environment: UPDATE 3: Lava emissions persist in Puna District, Hawaii, US, early May 4. State of emergency in effect; mandatory evacuations enforced.

This alert affects: Hilo, Hawaii

This alert began 04 May 2018 20:54 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Puna District, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; property destruction; utility outages

Summary
Lava emissions continue in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District as of the morning of May 4. Active volcanic vents are expelling large amounts of sulfur dioxide and lava along Makamae, Kaupili, and Mohala Streets; all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have been ordered to immediately evacuate to the Pahoa Community Center or the Kea'au Community Center until further notice. County officials and members of the US National Guard are assisting with evacuation efforts. The high levels of sulfur dioxide are considered toxic to those who are exposed; residents who refuse to evacuate were warned of the limited availability of emergency services.

To facilitate the flow of traffic, several roads have been closed in Puna District, including sections of Highway 130 and Leilani Boulevard, Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road, and Highway 137 and Pohoiki Road. Additional communities in the East Rift Zone might be placed under mandatory evacuation orders depending on the evolution of volcanic activity in the coming days. New volcanic vents and lava flows could materialize with little warning, and have the potential to bury roads and property. As of the morning of May 4, at least two structures have ignited due to the volcanic activity. Additional seismic activity is also likely in the Puna District over the coming days.

The Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, issued a state of emergency declaration in Hawaii County due to the damage, losses, and suffering caused by the new lava flows. Officials have shut down the Puna Geothermal Plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts and possible water supply disruptions.

Background and Analysis
The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The most recent lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 on May 3. The US Geological Survey recorded hundreds of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. Authorities with the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory had warned residents in Lower Puna District May 2-3 of the likelihood of an eruption in the short-term.

Advice
Strictly avoid the Puna District until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District. Charge battery-powered devices in case prolonged power outages occur.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes

 

Environment: UPDATE 2: Mandatory evacuation order issued for Leilani Estates, Hawaii, US, over lava emissions May 3. Road closures in effect. Avoid area.

This alert affects Hilo, Hawaii

This alert began 04 May 2018 05:58 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

• Incident: Volcanic activity
• Location: Big Island, Hawaii (map)
• Time Frame: Indefinite
• Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; possible property destruction

Summary
Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, Puna District of Hawaii's Big Island, on the evening of May 3 as steam and lava emissions spewed out of fissures in the area. Several roads have been closed, including the sections of Highway 130 and Leilani Boulevard, Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road, and Highway 137 and Pohoiki Road to facilitate evacuation efforts. Two evacuation shelters have been opened at the Pahoa and Keaau community centers. Residents in other areas of the Puna District have been urged to review emergency plans and prepare for possible evacuations. Officials shut down Puna Geothermal Plant and warned residents in the district and in Hilo to prepare for rolling blackouts and possible water supply disruptions.

The lava events began some six hours after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded more than 70 earthquakes of magnitude-2.5 or stronger on May 1-3, pointing to the likely movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. Authorities with the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory have warned that an eruption could take place, resulting in new lava flows in the district.

New volcanic vents and lava flows could materialize with little warning, and have the potential to bury roads and property. Additional seismic activity is likely in the Puna District over the coming days; the Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline.

Advice
Avoid the Puna District until authorities give the all-clear. Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District.
 

Environment: UPDATE 1: Authorities partially evacuate Leilani Estates, Hawaii, US, following lava outbreaks afternoon May 3. Avoid the area.

This alert affects Hilo, Hawaii

This alert began 04 May 2018 03:18 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Volcanic activity
  • Location: Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; possible property destruction

Summary
Authorities have begun a partial evacuation of the Leilani Estates, Puna District of Hawaii's Big Island, as of 0445 May 3 after lava emissions and plumes of smoke were recorded in at least one location along Mohala Street. The Hawaii County Civil Defense has ordered all residents to the east of Luana Street to leave the area. Several roads in the area are reportedly closed. Other communities in lower Puna District to the north and east of Leilani Estates have been placed on alert. Residents in these areas have been urged to review emergency plans and prepare for evacuations.

The measures come after a magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 May 3. The US Geological Survey has recorded almost 70 earthquakes of magnitude-2.5 or stronger on May 1-2, likely pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. Authorities with the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory have warned that an eruption could take place, resulting in new lava flows in the district.

New volcanic vents and lava flows could materialize with little warning, and have the potential to bury roads and property. Officials have identified emergency shelter locations and are preparing police and road crews to ensure any potential evacuation orders are conducted efficiently. Nearby schools and a lava viewing area in Kalapana remain closed as a result of the increased activity. Additional low-level seismic activity is likely in the Puna District over the coming days; the Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline.

Advice
Adhere to all directives issued by authorities. Review emergency evacuation plans. Seek updated local emergency information regarding potential mandatory evacuation orders and eruptive events. Do not approach lava flows; if new cracks appear in nearby pavement or terrain, immediately leave the area and notify authorities. Allow additional time to reach destinations due to possible road closures and traffic congestion in Puna District.

Resources
Hawaii Road Conditions: hidot.hawaii.gov/highways
Hawaii County Civil Defense: www.hawaiicounty.gov

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes

 

Environment: UPDATE 1: Magnitude-6.9 earthquake occurs near Kupapau Point, Big Island, Hawaii, US, 1232 May 4. No tsunami warning issued. 

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Molokai, Hawaii

This alert began 04 May 2018 23:24 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Earthquake
  • Location: Near Kupapau Point, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Magnitude (Depth): 6.9 (5 km/3 miles)
  • Time/Date: 1232 May 4
  • Affected Areas: Big Island; Maui; Molokai
  • Tsunami Warning: None

Summary
A magnitude-6.9 earthquake occurred near Kupapau Point, Big Island, Hawaii, around 1232 May 4. The temblor occurred at a depth of around 5 km (3.0 miles). Moderate-to-strong shaking was likely felt in localities on the Big Island close to the epicenter. Weak-to-moderate shaking may have been felt on Maui and Molokai. There have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties. No tsunami warning has been issued. The recent temblor came around an hour after a 5.4-magnitude temblor occurred in the same area at 1132.

Officials may temporarily shut down transportation infrastructure in the tremor zone to check for damage. Minor disruptions could occur during shutdowns, but service will likely resume quickly if no damage is found. Utility outages are possible, particularly near the earthquake's epicenter. Additional seismic activity is possible in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The temblor comes amid continued lava emissions in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District. Active volcanic vents have been expelling large amounts of sulfur dioxide and lava along Makamae, Kaupili, and Mohala Streets; all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens were ordered to evacuate to the Pahoa Community Center or the Kea'au Community Center May 4.

The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The US Geological Survey recorded hundreds of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. A magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 on May 3.

Advice
Heed any instructions from local authorities. Plan accordingly for additional tremors. Allow additional time for travel, as temblors could prompt brief disruptions.

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes

Environment: Magnitude-5.4 earthquake occurs near Kupapau Point, Big Island, Hawaii, US, morning May 4. No initial reports of damage due to tremor. 

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Hilo, Hawaii
  • Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • Molokai, Hawaii

This alert began 04 May 2018 00:01 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 May 2018 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Earthquake
  • Location: Near Kupapau Point, Big Island, Hawaii (map)
  • Magnitude (Depth): 5.4 (6 km/3.7 miles)
  • Time/Date: 1132 May 4
  • Affected Areas: Big Island; Maui; Molokai
  • Tsunami Warning: None

Summary
A magnitude-5.4 earthquake struck near Kupapau Point, Big Island, Hawaii, at 1132 May 4. The temblor occurred at a depth of about 6 km (3.7 miles). Moderate shaking was likely felt in localities on the Big Island close to the epicenter. Weak-to-light shaking may have been felt on Maui and Molokai. There have been no immediate reports of any damage or casualties. No tsunami warnings have been issued.

Background and Analysis
The temblor comes amid continued lava emissions in the Leilani subdivision of Hawaii's Puna District. Active volcanic vents have been expelling large amounts of sulfur dioxide and lava along Makamae, Kaupili, and Mohala Streets; all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens were ordered to evacuate to the Pahoa Community Center or the Kea'au Community Center May 4.

The Kilauea Volcano has been actively erupting since January 1983 along the Big Island's southeastern coastline. The US Geological Survey recorded hundreds of low-intensity earthquakes in the region since May 1, pointing to the movement of magma throughout the East Rift Zone. A magnitude-5.0 tremor shook the area at approximately 1030 on May 3.

Advice
Heed any instructions from local authorities. Plan accordingly for additional tremors. Allow additional time for travel, as temblors could prompt brief disruptions.

Related Advice: Personal safety during earthquakes