(BIVN) – Residents and emergency officials are reporting high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the area of the lower East Rift Zone eruption on Monday afternoon.
According to a Hawaii County Civil Defense message, the State of Hawaii Department of Health “reports Elevated Gas Levels due to the ongoing eruptions and current weather in the lower East Rift and Pahoa area. The National Weather Service forecast that light winds are causing Sulphur dioxide to fill in the area.”
Due to the high levels of gas, civil defense has provided the following information for your awareness:
- Residents in the area affected are advised to shelter in place or leave the area.
- Do use your air conditioning and set to recirculate.
- Persons should reduce exposure by limiting outdoor activity.
- For current levels in your area view the Civil Defense or Department of Health websites.
At 2 p.m., air monitoring data from Pahoa shown on an EPA website measured SO2 levels at a red, or unhealthy level.
“Due to air quality concerns, mail delivery on routes served by the Pahoa Post Office will be suspended today, Monday, July 2,” stated the United States Postal Service. “Customers affected by this temporary suspension are asked to pick up their mail at the Pahoa Post Office. Retail operations at the Pahoa Post Office are unaffected by this delivery suspension. Mail delivery on the suspended routes will resume when conditions permit.”
Pu’uhonua O Puna, or the Hub, also shut down due to the air quality today. Ikaika Marzo reports SO2 levels were as high as 5.2 ppm.
Northeast tradewinds are expected to build in later today and push winds to the southwest through the rest of the week and improve air quality, officials say. The Pahoa Community Meeting regarding the eruption to still be held Tuesday, July 3 at 5 p.m. at the Pahoa High School cafeteria, officials say.