(BIVN) – Mick Kalber of Tropical Visions Video took to the sky over Puʻu ʻŌʻō aboard Paradise Helicopters, the day after the volcanic vent collapsed.
“A quarter-mile long line of steam fissures from the Pu’u ‘O’o Vent to the west leads to a HUGE brownish red plume, emanating from the vent itself, the result of the floor of the vent collapsing yesterday,” Kalber wrote in an update to media. “The event sent red dust from the vent to the Pali. We saw only one glowing skylight downslope, and no active surface lava anywhere.”
UPDATE: Kua O Ka Lā New Century Public Charter School will be closed today due to the continued earthquake activity.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been keeping a close eye on the situation as it develops. This update was issued by scientists last night:
The increase in seismicity and deformation recorded since Monday afternoon at Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone east of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent is continuing this evening. The activity is associated with the intrusion of magma eastward from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō magma system. Since this morning, seismicity rates in the lower East Rift Zone east of Highway 130 have increased. An outbreak of lava in a new location remains a possible outcome of the continued unrest. At this time it is not possible to say with certainty if or where such an outbreak may occur, but the area along the East Rift Zone downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains the most likely location.
Scientists of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are on overnight duty to monitor the changing seismicity and deformation, and residents of the Puna District should remain alert and watch for further information about the status of the volcano; watch for Hawaii County Civil Defense messages.
About 250 located earthquakes have occurred since the Puʻu ʻŌʻō collapse event yesterday afternoon. Since that time, earthquakes have migrated eastward from Puʻu ʻŌʻō to the lower East Rift Zone.
Since around 8:00 a.m. HST this morning, seismicity rates in the lower East Rift Zone east of Highway 130 have increased slightly on two seismic stations. The seismicity consists primarily of small-magnitude (less than magnitude 3) earthquakes at depths of less than 10 km (6.2 miles). Many of these earthquakes have been felt by residents in the area.
A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone has recorded a steady deflationary tilt since late last evening, with several sharp inflation offsets. These offsets probably recorded the continued episodic collapse of the crater floor.
A tiltmeter located 12 km (7.5 miles) east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō has recorded a slowing rate of southeastward-directed tilt of the ground along the East Rift Zone, suggesting diminished but continued deformation associated with the intrusion into the lower East Rift Zone.
Kīlauea’s summit eruption has thus far not been affected by the change at Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Tiltmeters at the summit have recorded a slight deflationary trend since early this morning, and the level of the summit lava lake lowered by a few meters (yards).
During a helicopter overflight to Puʻu ʻŌʻō earlier today, geologists observed a new fissure and crack extending about 1 km (0.6 miles) uprift (west) from the west flank of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. A small amount of lava erupted from the crack during yesterday’s collapse of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor. Geologists also noted red ash that was deposited around Puʻu ʻŌʻō and blown farther downwind; the ash resulted from small explosions that accompanied the collapse of the crater floor.
Poor weather and an ashy plume from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater prevented geologists from observing the newly collapsed crater floor or the west pit area where a perched lava pond was erupting before yesterday’s collapse event.
Geologists observed a few small, sluggish breakouts of the 61g lava flow, likely from lava still moving through the lava-tube system; the 61g vent was likely severed from the magma supply to Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
Geologists did not observe any new ground cracks downrift of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in areas where seismicity was concentrated over the past day.
The migration of seismicity and deformation downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone following Monday’s collapse indicates that a large area along the East Rift Zone is potentially at risk for a new outbreak. The location of any future outbreak will determine what areas are in the path of new lava flows.
The situation continues to evolve and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists continue to closely monitor Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone and summit. More updates will follow as information becomes available.