UPDATE: HVO Update on Kilauea Eruption

Updated at 6 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that fissure 8 remained very active on Tuesday fountaining to heights of 200 feet at times and feeding a lava flow that advanced atop the Fissure 8 ʻaʻā flow that was active Sunday night/Monday morning.

In its evening update HVO said that the first lobe of this flow crossed highway 132 just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Lava continues to advance toward the northeast.

HVO reports that visual observations early Tuesday afternoon also confirmed continued weak activity at Fissures 18 and 19. Fissure 18 has produced channelized flows which have advanced 1.6 mi toward the coast.

Pele’s hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are being transported downwind and falling to the west of the fissure. On Monday night, there were reports of Pele’s hair falling in Pāhoa. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade winds are forecast to return in the coming days, meaning that vog may impact the southern and western sides of the island.

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.

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea’s summit. Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ash fall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

Updated at 12:30 p.m.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense says Highway 132 remains closed from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners due to a lava flow approaching the highway.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the lava is flowing about 100 yards from the road, as of Civil Defense’s noon update.

Only residents with placards are allowed to access Highway 137 beyond Four Corners, per county officials.

Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.

Civil Defense reports that if lava breaches Highway 132, the area along the highway; Vacationland and Kapoho Beach lots will experience an extended power outage.

Tuesday’s community meeting at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria will begin 30 minutes earlier at 5 p.m.

Updated at 11:10 a.m.

The Department of Health has corrected the venue for the Ka’u meeting regarding vog/ash from Halemaumau on Wednesday, May 30 at 5:30 p.m.

The correct venue is County of Hawaii Parks & Recreation – Robert Herkes Gym and Emergency Shelter (Multi-Purpose Room) in Pahala.

The venue had previously been slated for Ka’u High School.

Updated at 8:30 a.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

HVO reports that fissure 8 reactivated on Monday afternoon and, overnight, was fountaining to heights of 200 feet at times and feeding a lava flow that was traveling to the northeast. That flow was moving atop the Fissure 8 flow that was active the previous night, passing on to open ground and crossing Pohoiki road at about 5 a.m.

As of 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning, lava is advancing along the north margin of an earlier lava flow from Fissure 7 toward the PGV access road.

HVO said in its 7:45 a.m. update that visual observations early Tuesday morning also confirmed continued weak activity at Fissures 18, 19, and 20. Fissure 18 has produced channelized flows which have advanced about one-third of the way (1.2 mi) toward the coast.

Pele’s hair and and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are being transported downwind and falling to the west of the fissure. On Monday night, there were reports of Pele’s hair falling in Pāhoa. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

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 forecast to return in the coming days, meaning that vog may impact the southern and western sides of the island.

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.

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea’s summit.

At 1:56 a.m., there was a small explosion that sent ash to 15,000 feet above sea level. The ash cloud rose vertically above the summit and drifted only slightly to the northwest owing to calm winds.

The explosion was reported felt by a number of residents in the Volcano area, and it resulted in the emplacement of some incandescent blocks on the east floor/wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

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

Photo: USGS image taken at about 1:45 p.m. on May 28.

Updated at 8 a.m.

Highway 132 was shut down at 6:45 a.m. this morning from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners due to a fast moving lava flow approaching the highway. Everyone is advised to avoid the area, according to Hawai`i County Civil Defense.

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

  • Beach Road is the only access into lower Puna.
  • Access to Issac Hale Beach Park for recreation is closed.
  • Residents close to the active eruption must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare for voluntary evacuation should their areas become threatened.
  • You are advised to make necessary plans and monitor your radio or phone for Civil Defense alerts.

The National Weather Service reports Pele’s Hair is falling in the Pahoa area. The following is provided for your information:

  • Pele’s Hair is sharp, thin strands of volcanic glass fibers, carried on the wind.
  • Avoid touching it or getting it in your eyes.
  • It can cause injury to eyes and lungs if breathed in.
  • Pele’s Hair is abrasive. If it lands on your windshield do not use your wipers to clear it.

Updated at 6:50 a.m.

Hawai`i County Civil Defense reports that Highway 132 is being shut down between Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners, due to a fast moving lava flow approaching the highway.

Everyone is advised to avoid the area. Beach Road is the only access into lower Puna.

Residents close to the active eruption must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare for voluntary evacuation should their areas become threatened.

Original story published at 6 a.m.:

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports an additional lava flow has crossed Pohoiki Road south of the Highway 132 junction.   An ash eruption at Halemaumau crater last night produced an ash plume 15,000 feet in the air.

Light winds are blowing toward the northwest and ash fall may affect the Volcano and Pahala areas, according to Hawai`i County Civil Defense.

Officials are monitoring active flows near the Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road junction, if 132 is overrun Beach Road will be the only access into the lower Puna area.