(BIVN) – Today, Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation urged President Donald Trump “to act swiftly on Governor David Ige’s request for a presidential disaster declaration for the ongoing eruption in Puna.
“Based on the severity of the damage and preliminary assessments, it is clear that recovery will overwhelm state and county resources,” the delegation wrote in a letter to President Trump. “Governor Ige has requested that you issue a presidential disaster declaration to allow state and county officials to apply for vital federal assistance available. We urge your expeditious approval of his request.”
Hawai‘i state legislators also visited the eruption area on Thursday, including House and Senate leadership.
Here is the latest information collected from different agencies, supplemented by multi-media.
Lower East Rift Zone: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) confirms hazardous fumes continue to be released but no volcanic activity is present at this time.
“A pause in active eruption of spatter and lava along Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone continued through the night,” HVO wrote at 6:49 a.m. on Friday. “However, earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area of Leilani Estates are likely. Overnight, earthquake activity was concentrated on the downrift (east) side of the existing Leilani fissures. High levels of sulfur dioxide continue to be released from the fissure system.”
Summit: Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and seismicity remains elevated, scientists say. “This morning, a steady plume of steam is rising from the Overlook vent. It is expected that occasional rockfalls into the deep vent will produce intermittent, low-level ash emissions. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kilauea summit area and downwind. More energetic ash emissions are possible.,” HVO wrote.
A newly organized informational website about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption can be found here.
Lower East Rift Zone: Conditions permitting, Leilani Estates residents will be allowed to check on their property from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day until further notice. Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice, civil defense says. Civil Defense Recovery Information and Assistance Center (RIAC) at the Sacred Hearts Church in Pāhoa, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
No access is allowed at this time for residents of Lanipuna Gardens due to dangerous volcanic gases.
Summit: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is now closed until further notice, due to the possibility of a steam-induced explosion at the summit of Kīlauea following the drop of the lava lake.
Road Status Update:
Lower East Rift Zone: Highway 130 is closed between Malama Street and Kamaili Road.
Pohoiki Road is closed from Highway 132 to 137 due to cracks in the road.
Lower East Rift Zone: Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) has completed the removal of all pentane gas offsite to Shipman Industrial Park.
The Kalapana Transfer Station is closed until further notice. The Pāhoa Transfer Station on Apaa Street is open 7 days a week, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Hawai‘i Electric Light reminds residents to treat all downed lines as live. Under no circumstances are you to approach or touch downed lines.
Emergency water restrictions for the Pohoiki, Vacationland and Kapoho area are still in effect while personnel work to restore service. Water spigots installed near the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker in Vacationland are still available for the public to access.
United States Postal Service announced that evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pāhoa Post Office.
The Hawai‘i County Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office have established a policy of zero tolerance towards looting or vandalism. Under Emergency Provisions, any looting or vandalism will be treated as a felony.
Contact the Humane Society for animal information.
Lower East Rift: Four charter schools on Hawaiʻi Island will be closed tomorrow, Friday, May 11, due to the volcanic and seismic activity. They are:
- Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science Public Charter School (PCS)
- Kua o ka Lā New Century PCS
- Nā Wai Ola PCS
- Volcano School of Arts and Sciences
The Pre-k class at Ka ʻUmeke Kaʻeo PCS will also be closed tomorrow. All other classes at Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo remain in session.
Kua O Ka La School will reopen in Hilo on Monday, civil defense says. Grades K-4 will meet at New Hope Church in Hilo, grades 5 through 12 will meet at the Boys and Girls Club in Hilo.
Summit: Volcano School of Arts & Sciences is closed today (Friday, May 11) “We will be monitoring the situation to determine if school will be open on Monday,” school officials said on their website.
“The evacuated residents are going through a very difficult time. We ask for your help and understanding,” Civil Defense stated. “County, State and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.”