(BIVN) – The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that eruptive activity has deceased at the Kilauea summit and lower east rift eruption from fissure 8 on the lower East Rift Zone. “Seismic activity is low with few felt earthquakes at the summit,” a Hawaii County Civil Defense message stated this morning. “Crews overnight in the lower east rift report only glow in fissure 8.”
“HVO continues to monitor Kilauea for signs of reactivation of activity,” emergency officials said. “Several overflights are scheduled throughout the day to visually monitor the volcano.”
Yesterday, scientists cautioned that its too soon to tell if the decreased activity will persist, and hazardous conditions remain.
“It could be weeks or months before we feel comfortable calling the eruption and the summit collapse over,” said Tina Neal, the scientist-in-charge at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in a media release issued by Hawai‘i County.
Despite the lull, work on an emergency bypass road adjacent to Highway 11 in Volcano is ongoing, county officials say. “The tremors at the Halema’uma’u summit have destabilized Highway 11, the only artery connecting Ka’u to the rest of the island,” a Sunday media release stated. “The County is cooperating with Federal and State agencies on the construction of the two-mile bypass. There is no precise time frame on when the bypass road will be completed, but the County recognizes the urgency of the situation as the new school year starts this week.”
Meanwhile, observers are marveling at the sudden change at Fissure 8. After a Sunday overflight aboard Paradise Helicopters, videographer Mick Kalber wrote:
Activity at Fissure 8 has slowed to a crawl. The river channel has crusted over and is moving very little. Pohoiki still stands, although residual lava in the system continues to slowly encroach on the boat ramp. This morning she was in the process of slowly taking the “Dead Trees” area, but had not rounded the corner. Hopefully, the slow down will stop Pele’s advance on Pohoiki Bay. The only area showing much activity at all was around Kapoho Crater. Described by Bruce Omori as a ‘”train wreck,” lava is jumbled in several directions, with breakouts sending l;ava from the ponded area near the cinder pits back around the west side of the crater… and also advancing on the 1960 flow again near four corners. Again, this is most likely residual lava that will spread out, but make little significant advance in any direction. Air in the area has vastly improved, and spirits have been lifted by this recent slow down. Is it possible she could be stopping after 95 days of absolutely surreal, devastating eruptive activity? Time will tell.