UPDATE: HVO Reports Hazardous Fumes Continue but Volcanic Activity Paused

Hawaiian Volcanos Observatory reports that high levels of unrest related to the intermittent eruption of lava in Leilani Estates in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continue.

“While no lava was noted erupting today from any of the 15 fissure vents formed thus far, earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely,” HVO wrote in an evening update.

The location of future outbreaks is not known with certainty, but could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or resumption of activity at existing fissures.

Earthquake activity was high in the area on Thursday. Continuing ground deformation and located earthquakes were mostly in the area around and northeast of Fissure 15 at Pohoiki Road indicating that the intrusion is migrating further to the northeast.

Steaming ground cracks in the vicinity of Highway 130 continue.

Updated at 6 p.m

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms that hazardous fumes continue to be released but no volcanic activity is present as of 6 p.m.

The United States Postal Service says that the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Post Office will be closed on Friday May 11 due to the possibility of an explosive steam event and ash fall at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano.

Customers of this office can pick up their mail at the Volcano Post Office at 19-4030 Old Volcano Highway.

In addition, USPS reminds residents of the evacuated areas of Pahoa/Puna that they should pick up their mail at the Pahoa Post Office at 15-2859 Pahoa Village Road while their neighborhoods are inaccessible.

USPS also advises that all residents who have evacuated in response to the eruption, whether from the officially evacuated neighborhoods or other nearby areas, submit Change of Address forms so that their mail can be redirected to them in a timely manner.

Four charter schools will be closed on Friday:

Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science Public Charter School (PCS)
Kua o ka Lā New Century PCS
Nā Wai Ola PCS
Volcano School of Arts and Sciences
The Pre-k class at Ka ʻUmeke Kaʻeo PCS will also be closed tomorrow. All other classes at Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo remain in session.

Updated at 12:30 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory confirms that as of 12 p.m. hazardous fumes continue to be released but no volcanic activity is present.

A community meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Pāhoa High School Cafeteria.

Updated at 9 a.m.

As of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory reports active eruption of spatter and lava along Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision remains paused. However, earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area of Leilani Estates are expected. High levels of sulfur dioxide continue to be released from the fissure system.

HVO officials say that deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop.

Aftershocks from Friday’s magnitude-6.9 earthquake continue at a declining rare and more are expected. Rockfalls into the Overlook vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater are producing intermittent, low-level ash emissions. Seismicity at Kīlauea’s summit remains elevated. More energetic ash emissions are possible.

Lava emission from fissures was minimal overnight. Strong degassing continues from existing fissures and high levels of sulphur dioxide have been measured downwind.

Deformation of the ground in the area continues and seismicity remains elevated. Overnight, earthquake activity was concentrated on the downrift (east) side of the existing Leilani fissures.

Tiltmeters at the summit continue to record a deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Ash emission is expected following larger rockfalls. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kilauea summit area and downwind.

Elevated earthquake activity in the summit area continues largely as a consequence of ongoing summit deflation.

A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. The 61g lava flow is no longer active.

Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time.

Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.

High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.

As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu continues to drop, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind.

Original post published at 6:30 a.m.

As of 6 a.m. on Thursday fissure 15 in Lanipuna Subdivision has remained paused as hazardous fumes continue to be released.

In total since the onset of the lower Puna eruption 15 fissures have emerged covering 116.57 acres with lava and destroying 36 structures.

Hawai`i County officials say that conditions permitting, Leilani Estates residents will be allowed to check on their property from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day until further notice.  Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

The Civil Defense Recovery Information and Assistance Center at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pāhoa continues, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Highway 130 is closed between Malama Street and Kamaili Road. Along with Pohoiki Road is closed from Highway 132 to 137.

No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.

Puna Geothermal Venture is expediting the removal of hazardous materials offsite to Shipman Industrial Park.

The Kalapana Transfer Station is closed until further notice.  The Pāhoa Transfer Station on Apaa Street is open 7 days a week, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hawai‘i Electric Light reminds residents to treat all downed lines as live. Under no circumstances are you to approach or touch downed lines.

Dept. of Water Supply has issued an Emergency water restriction for the Pohoiki, Vacationland and Kapoho area due to the impacts to the bypass waterline caused by the latest fissure event. Water spigots installed near the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker in Vacationland are still available for the public to access.

United States Postal Service announced that evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pāhoa Post Office.

The Hawai‘i County Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office have established a policy of zero tolerance towards looting or vandalism. Under Emergency Provisions, any looting or vandalism will be treated as a felony.

Hawai‘i Academy of Arts and Sciences is closed for the rest of the week.

This map shows the locations of fissures and an ‘a’ā flow erupted since May 3 in the order that they occurred in Leilani Estates as of 5:30 p.m. HST, May 9. USGS map.