(BIVN) – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that Fissure 8 continues to erupt with a full lava channel flowing to the ocean at Kapoho. “There is no immediate threat, but persons near the active flow should heed warnings from Civil Defense,” a Sunday morning message from emergency officials repeated.
On Saturday, Hawaii County officials counted 637 total homes destroyed since the latest Kilauea eruption began on the lower East Rift Zone. 6,144 acres have been covered by lava, the said. The figures were invcluded in an eruption update yesterday, found in the video below:
During an overflight yesterday morning, geologists “observed incandescence from Fissure 22, but no associated spattering or flow,” the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported.
At the summit of Kilauea on Saturday, a high earthquake rate was accompanied by occasional rockfalls, producing small ash plumes, until a collapse explosion event occurred at 4:34 p.m. HST. “An ash-poor plume reached less than 2000 ft above the ground and drifted SW,” the USGS HVO reported. “The energy released by the event was equivalent to M5.3 earthquake.”
Seismicity appears to be increasing again this morning. Residents in the Volcano area are advised to monitor utility connections of gas, electricity, and water due to the high level of earthquakes, civil defense says.
The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and is located at the Keaau High School Gym.
Billowing laze plumes mark the area where lava meets the sea at Kapoho. On Saturday, lava was entering the southern side of the entry area primarily through the open channel, scientists reported, but also along a 1-kilometer (0.6 mi) wide area.
The current eruption of Kīlauea has forever destroyed the Waiopae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources stated today. Less than 1% of the marine environment in Hawai‘i is fully protected by MLCD districts, so the loss of Waiopae is extremely significant, the state says.
The DLNR detailed the dramatic changes to state lands in Puna due to the eruption in a Sunday media release:
The East Rift Zone Eruption event is keeping two State parks closed and a forest reserve closed, and is adding new acreage to what is now State unencumbered land. “This continuing eruption is changing the way DLNR and its division’s manage public lands in the lower Puna District,” explained Chair Suzanne Case. Newly created land, by law, becomes State unencumbered land and will fall under the jurisdiction of the DLNR Land Division. Case added, “There is tremendous alteration of the landscape on a broad scale and daily basis. Most dramatic is the complete lava inundation of Kapoho Bay including the covering of the Waiopae Tidepools MLCD.”
Both Lava Tree State Monument and MacKenzie State Recreation Area have been closed since shortly after the eruption began. MacKenzie SRA is adjacent to the first ocean entry and both parks were closed due to public safety considerations. “The parks are closed and will likely remain so for a very long time,” according to State Parks Division Administration Curt Cottrell. “Pele is in control now. She already reclaimed Kalapana State Park back in 1990 and may well decide to perform substantial make overs to Lava Tree and/or MacKenzie,” Cottrell said.
State Park’s Hawai‘i Island Supervisor Dean Takebayashi visited Lava Tree State Monument on Monday. He observed damage to the comfort station and park walkway, likely caused by the earthquake on May 4th. Takebayashi said, “We have to keep these parks closed because they’re close to lava and subject to gas emissions from the eruption. We don’t know yet what other dangers have been created by the earthquake and six-week old eruption.”
DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officers have written dozens of citations to sightseers caught at Lava Tree and MacKenzie. They’ll continue heavy patrols in both parks to keep people out of restricted areas for their own safety.
About 50% of the 1514 acre Malama Ki Forest Reserve has also been closed for many weeks. The lava has burned a lot of the forest and volcanic emissions have defoliated hundreds of trees. The reserve served as a habitat to sub-populations of native forest birds which have developed unique resistance to avian pox and avian malaria.
“We would hate to lose that genetic pool,” said DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Hawai‘i island Branch Manager Steve Bergfeld. Due to current and further expected losses of Malama Ki’s habitat, populations of wildlife may no longer persist, rapidly decline, or become further fragmented and/or contract in range.”
Recreational fisherman should use alternate State small boat ramps and not the one at Pohoiki. All of the land area at Issac Hale Beach Park next to the ramp is in a restricted area and is closed. The four commercial permittees at Pohoiki were offered the opportunity to relocate to the Wailoa Harbor Ramp in Hilo. Two of the larger vessels secured transient dock slips there for up to 120 days.
Chair Case concluded, “DLNR and many of its divisions continue to support Hawai‘i County during this unprecedented natural event with resources and personnel on the ground. First and foremost we want to take every step needed to make sure people are safe and stay out of places that, like the landscape, can change in a flash.”
DLNR also announced two Hilo residents were cited by a DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officer for loitering in a closed area under Hawai‘i County ordinance (HCC7-10). They were cited in the closed area at the bottom of Highway 137 near MacKenzie State Recreation Area. They were with two children and were observed walking along the shoreline at Coconut Grove on Saturday at 12:45 p.m., the state says.
The DOCARE officer says the adults and two children did not have personal protection equipment (PPE) and SO2 (sulfur dioxide) readings were 2.3 parts per million (PPM) earlier in the day. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sets the safe level for S02 at less than 2.0 ppm. All four people were escorted back to the road block on Highway 137 where White and Ross were cited. Under a supplemental proclamation from Governor Ige, fines for being in areas restricted or closed due to the continuing East Rift Zone Eruption can reach as high as $5000, with up to one year in jail. Since the eruption began this brings the number of people cited by DOCARE and Hawai‘i County Police to 76.