UPDATE: Eruption Claims Additional Structures

Updated at 9:30 a.m.

As of 9 a.m., Hawai`i County Civil Defense Reports that a total of 40 structures have been destroyed since the beginning of the lower Puna eruption.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the central and northeast end of the active fissure system.

Spattering continues from Fissures 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 22 with pahoehoe lava flows being erupted from Fissures 17, 18, and 20.

Due to increasing SO2, eruptive and fissure development the following policies are in effect:

  • Leilani Estates evacuees must be alert to possible decreased availability of access.
  • If your property is not accessible, contact Civil Defense for the possibility of escort.
  • No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to high levels of dangerous volcanic gases.

Original story published at 6:02 a.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has reported a new fissure 22, between fissures 19 and 20.

As of 6 a.m., several fissures were active with spattering.  A lava flow at fissure 17 is covering the existing lava flow, but no new advancement is occurring.

Due to the continued volcanic activity the following policies are in effect:

  • The public should continue to be on the alert for volcanic fumes of SO2.
  • Volcanic gas such as SO2, is especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.
  • People in areas downwind of rifts may intermittently experience higher levels of fumes. People with breathing problems should avoid being outdoors and leave the area if deemed necessary.

A distribution of free masks for ash protection continues on Friday.

Distribution will run from  1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cooper Center and Ocean View Community Center. One mask per family member. The masks do not protect against gasses and vapors. They will only provide filtering for ash.

Photo: At about 7 a.m. on May 17, Fissure 17 as shown from the air. USGS photo.