UPDATE: New Fissure Erupts in Leilani Estates

Updated at 10 a.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports a new fissure 24. It is between Kupono and Nohea Street in Leilani Estates and is not threatening any structures at this time.

According to Hawai`i County Civil Defense, lava flow crossed into Puna Geothermal Venture property overnight but has not impacted any wells.

A special task force headed by Tom Travis continues to work to make the wells safe and to prevent any threats to the public from developing.  At this time there is no hydrogen sulfide detected, according to the county.

Volcanic gases and vog emissions may increase in areas down wind of the vents in the lower east rift zone.

Due to the volcanic activity and increasing vog, Civil Defense reports that the following policies are in effect:

  • Residents close to the active eruption must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare to voluntarily evacuate should your location become threatened.
  • Take action to limit further exposure to volcanic gases and be prepared to leave the area with little to no notice.
  • Stay alert for warnings from Civil Defense officials.
  • Due to southerly winds and heavy output of vog from the summit on Monday night, be prepared for a possible increase in vog and volcanic gas levels in the Hamakua area, lower Hilo and Puna.

Original story published at 7:01 a.m.

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s 6:51 a.m. update.

HVO reports that fissures 22 and 13 continue to feed lava flows extending south to the lava ocean entry. Signals recorded on stations in the LERZ indicate that the lava ocean entry remained active overnight.

The report notes that fissure 21 is feeding an ‘a’ā flow that has continued to advance to the northeast on PGV property. However, the rate of advance has slowed overnight coincident with an observed decline in the vigor of fountaining at Fissure 21.

In addition, fissure 7 activity has reportedly increased overnight, producing a large spatter rampart over 100 feet tall from fountains reaching 150-200 feet. The fountains fed a perched pāhoehoe flow 20-40 feet thick, and ultimately a flow that had turned south toward the coast last night.

Large cracks were observed overnight by HVO officials on Kupono St. about 360 yards north of Malama St, near Fissure 9.

Fissure 8 had three vents active overnight that were spattering and flaming, and have doubled in size over the past 24 hours. Fissure 6 was inactive overnight.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Crews are also checking on the status of ground cracks on Highway 130.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade winds are expected to diminish Sunday evening, which could expand the area impacted by vog.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low.

At Kilauea’s summit ash continued to erupt intermittently from the Overlook crater at the Kīlauea summit. Observations from the ground and by UAV during the past week have documented retreat of the Overlook crater wall due to collapse of the steep enclosing walls and rim. Trade winds took the ash clouds primarily to the southwest. Trade winds are expected to diminish Sunday evening and communities around the summit area could see ashfall.

Earthquakes in the summit region continue as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

Photo: Aerial view of fissure 22, on May 26, looking toward the south. USGS photo.