UPDATE: Fissure 19 Active in Lanipuna Gardens, SO2 Levels High

Update 4:45 p.m.

Hawai`i Fire Department reports that fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens area are issuing high levels of Sulfur Dioxide gas.

Residents in the area and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road near Lanipuna Gardens are advised the air quality is condition RED. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. This is a serious situation that affects the entire exposed population.

Due to the toxic gas hazard in the affected area, the following are issued:

  • Leaving the area of SO2 inundation is the best way to protect yourself and your family.
  • Seek medical attention if severely affected.

Updated at 12 p.m.

The Hawai`i State Department of Health reports that the current eruption activity is producing dangerous Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas and other emissions that are hazardous; especially for elderly, young children and babies and people with respiratory problems.

People who are downwind or close to the vents and lava flows are also at high risk. Be aware of the unpredictable nature of dangerous levels of SO2  gas because it can be carried far from the fissures with wind speed and direction.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense says that leaving the area of volcanic activity or sheltering in place is the best way to protect yourself and your family. Only specialized masks available for purchase will protect from the dangerous gases and particulate matter that are being released in the current volcanic activity.

Take precautions when levels of vog are elevated:

  • Avoid outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing,
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration,
  • Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke,
  • Stay indoors and close windows and doors prior to gas inundation,
  • If an air conditioner is used, set it to recirculate,
  • Always keep medications on hand and readily available,
  • Daily prescribed medications, should be taken on schedule and may provide relief from the effects of sulfur dioxide, and
  • Contact a doctor as soon as possible if any health problems develop.

People on Hawaii Island outside the area of volcanic activity are also advised to monitor levels of vog here.

As of 8:36 a.m., HVO reports that Monday morning, activity is dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter more than 100 feet into the air, and an advancing lava flow from fissure 17 at the northeast end of the fissure system.

As of 6:30 a.m. the fissure 17 flow had traveled just under a mile roughly east-southeast parallel to the rift zone. It is turning slightly south and at this time is about one half mile south of Highway 132.

Fissure 18 that became active late yesterday is weakly active.

A fissure 19 has been spotted very near fissure 15 as of about 8 a.m. just northeast of Pohoiki Road and north of Hinalo Street at the east end of Lanipuna Gardens. It is producing a sluggish lava flow.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Yesterday with the onset of activity at fissure 17, powerful steam jets have occurred intermittently near the west end of the fissure. These jets may be responsible for some of the loud sounds reported by residents and emergency workers.

Original story published at 7:57 a.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure in Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision has opened between fissure 15 and 16 as of 7:25 a.m.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense reminds the public that no sightseeing is permitted in the area

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

  • Residents of Lanipuna Gardens are advised to be on the alert to gas emissions and active volcanic eruption.
  • Hawaii Police Department is enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restriction for lower Puna area. No helicopter or drone activity is allowed without approval.