Updated at 6 p.m.
Ash emission from the Overlook crater within Halema`uma`u has generally decreased since Tuesday, according to Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory.
HVO also reports, as of 6 p.m., that activity within Leilani subdivision and the lower East Rift continues at a diminished rate, with no flows currently active. Heavy de-gassing is occurring at each vent.
Highway 11 near the entrance to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open at this time, although the road has suffered minor cracking.
HVO officials advise everyone to be on alert as Volcanic gas is traveling downwind to Lower Puna, Volcano Village and surrounding areas. Be on alert for light ashfall and possible hazardous conditions across Ka‘u, Puna, and Hilo Districts.
The Hawai‘i Fire Department reports air quality condition red in areas around Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition red means:
- Immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure.
- Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe.
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
Updated 2:40 p.m.
Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory reports that strong earthquakes within the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue in response to ongoing deflation and lava column drop.
As of the afternoon of Wednesday afternoon, the floor of Kīlauea caldera has dropped approximately 3 feet (90 cm).
This movement is stressing faults around the caldera of Kilauea, causing them to move and resulting in strong earthquakes of up to magnitude 4.4 thus far, according to officials.
Employees at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and nearby residents are reporting frequent ground shaking and damage to roads and buildings.
As deflation continues, strong earthquakes in the area around Kilauea Volcano’s summit are expected to continue and may become more frequent. Areas further from these earthquakes may feel some ground motion as well, but much less severe.
The shallow depths of these earthquakes make them more damaging in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter, and individuals need to take precautions to minimize damage from the shaking, including the removal of unstable items from walls and shelves. Steep slopes should be avoided as they may become destabilized during strong earthquakes.
Updated at 12:30 p.m.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that low-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system.
Lava flows from fissure 17 have advanced little over the past day. HVO Field crew estimates are an advance of only 100 yards.
HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
Civil Defense reports that the National Weather Service is reporting very light ashfall and hazardous air quality possible.
HVO officials say that occasional bursts of ash are coming from Halemaumau Crater. Light upslope winds may carry ash across portions of Kau, Puna and North and South Hilo Districts. Only trace dusting of ash is currently visible on property.
Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents in lower Puna. An interruption in trade winds today means that Lower Puna, Volcano Village and surrounding areas, such as the Big Island North, South and Interior, may experience varying levels of vog and sulfur dioxide exposure. The Hawaii Fire Department reports that air quality is still condition red around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road.
Condition red means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure.
Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
The U.S. Postal Service reports that mail delivery has been temporarily suspended to the following neighborhoods in the Puna area of Hawaii island: Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens, Pahoa-Kapoho Road, Papaya Farms, Vacationland, Kapoho Beach, Kapoho-Kalapana Road, Seaview, Puna Palisades, Kehena, Kalapana Shores, Uncle Roberts, Kalapana-Pahoa Road, Chain of Craters Road and Black Sands. Residents of these areas are asked to pick up their mail from the Pahoa Post Office at 15-2859 Pahoa Village Road.
An emergency water restriction remains is in effect for the Kapoho to Pohoiki area until further notice.
Original story published at 7:41 a.m.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials reports that several fissures are active producing spatter, as of 6 a.m. on Wednesday. The flow from Fissure 17 has not advanced since yesterday.
HVO has increased the Aviation Color Code to Red due to increased ash emission from Kilauea. Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog have been reported along Highway 11 to Pahala. At any time, activity may increase the intensity of ash production.
Volcano School of Arts and Sciences will be closed on Wednesday.
Hawai`i Fire Department reports that air quality is condition red around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition red means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may lead to symptoms such as eye and nose irritation, and coughing. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas is especially dangerous for the elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
The Hawai`i Department of Transportation reopened Highway 130 on Tuesday. The road is open beyond Malama Street for local residents only. The Hawai`i Police Department reports no large trailers or heavy equipment will be allowed over the metal plates.
Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School. Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.
As a precautionary measure, residents of lower Puna are advised to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption. Because there may be little to no advance notice to evacuate, you should be prepared to evacuate at short notice. Take this time to prepare.
If you evacuate voluntarily, the Pahoa Community Center and Kea’au Community Center are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet-friendly. This is a precautionary message. We want everyone in the Lower Puna area to be ready, and to remain safe.
Featured photo: Incandescence observed at Fissure 14 around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Pulsing, gas-rushing sounds could be heard coming from the crack. Yellow sulfur deposits appear on the crack margins. USGS image.