UPDATE: Lava Entering Ocean Causes SO2 Emissions to Triple

Updated at 9:15 a.m.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense reports that the two lava flows that have entered the ocean have caused sulfur dioxide emissions to triple.

The two lava flows entering the ocean are flow front 1 and flow front 3.

Due to the lava entering the ocean off Highway 137 near MacKenzie State Park, Civil Defense says the following policies are in effect:

  • Be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume. Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard is actively monitoring the area. Only permitted tour boats are allowed in the area.
  • Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning. Health risks are present both landside and on the water.

Due to hazardous conditions from lava and fires, the following policies are in effect:

  • Highway 137 is closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road.
  • Kamaili Road is closed to all through traffic.
  • Everyone is asked to stay out of the area.

The Department of Water Supply says an emergency water restriction is still in effect for customers between Kapoho and Pohoiki. Officials say the flow that has crossed Pohoiki Road cut off water supply to residents.

Two water tankers are providing public drinking water access to residents and visitors in Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.

Hawai`i Electric Light advises residents in the down rift of the flow to be aware of downed power lines and always assume the power lines are active and exercise extreme caution.

Original story published at 6:47 a.m.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense reports that flow front 3 has split into two flows and both are entering the ocean.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also reports that Sulfur Dioxide emissions have greatly increased.

On Saturday night flow front 1 crossed Highway 137 at the 13-mile marker and entered the ocean and flow front 2 was approximately 400 meters from Highway 137.

Due to hazardous conditions, the following roads are closed and all are asked to stay out of the area

Highway 137 is closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road.  Kamaili Road is closed to all through traffic.

Due to the lava entering the ocean off Highway 137 in the vicinity of McKenzie Park, the following policies are in effect:

  • Be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume.  Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air.
  • Health hazards of laze include lung damage, and eye and skin irritation.
  • Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning.

Photo: Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift zone on May 19, 2018, around 8:18 a.m. ‘A‘ā lava flows emerging from the elongated fissure 16-20 form channels. The flow direction in this picture is from upper center to the lower left. USGS photo.