(BIVN) – Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, threatening to severe Highway 132 at any moment, while explosive activity is ongoing at the Kīlauea summit.
Highway 132 is closed from Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners due to the lava flow approaching the highway. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported at noon that the lava is about 100 yards from the road.
Hilo’s State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele captured video today while aboard an Army helicopter flight that shows the towering fountains being produced by Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates. The fissure is feeding a lava flow that is 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. HST,” USGS scientists said this morning. The flow then covered the Puna Geothermal Venture access road en route towards Highway 132.
Hawaii County Civil Defense says the following policies are in effect:
- Only residents with placards are allowed to access Highway 137 beyond Four Corners.
- Residents close to any volcanic activity should remain alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate if necessary.
- If lava breaches Highway 132, the area along the highway; Vacationland and Kapoho Beach lots will experience an extended power outage.
“Visual observations early Tuesday morning also confirmed continued weak activity at Fissures 18, 19, and 20,” USGS said. “Fissure 18 has produced channelized flows which have advanced about one-third of the way (1.2 mi) toward the coast.”
Also, USGS had this update on recent activity at the summit:
Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea’s summit. At 1:56 AM HST, there was a small explosion that sent ash to 15,000′ 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.
Representatives with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (still closed, except for the Kahuku unit), and National Weather Service participated in a 11 a.m. conference call with media to provide updates on the situation.
There are two community meetings about the eruption scheduled this week:
- Today’s community meeting at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria begins ½ hour earlier at 5 in the evening.
- The Dept. of Health has changed the venue for tomorrow’s meeting to discuss vog and ash exposure in the Kaʻū District. It will be at the Robert Herkes Gym and Emergency Shelter in Pahala at 5:30 in the evening.