UPDATE – (11 a.m. HST on Monday, November 28) – The National Weather Service has cancelled the Ashfall Advisory for all districts of Hawaiʻi island.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Education says no school closures are needed at this time. Officials say they understand there currently is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in the community.
(BIVN) – The eruption of Mauna Loa volcano has migrated from the summit into the Northeast Rift Zone, where fissures are feeding several lava flows.
According to an updated Volcanic Activity Summary from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at 7:20 a.m. on Monday, November 28, an overflight at approximately 6:30 a.m. HST “confirmed fissures at high elevations within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are feeding lava flows upslope of the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory.”
“Lava flows are not threatening any downslope communities and all indications are that the eruption will remain in the Northeast Rift Zone,” the USGS HVO reported. “Volcanic gas and possibly fine ash and Pele’s Hair may be carried downwind.”
New photos of the eruption, showing the lava on the Northeast Rift Zone, were published to the HVO website.
The eruption promoted the National Weather Service to issue a rare Ashfall Advisory for Hawaiʻi island.
“A trace to less than one quarter inch of ashfall accumulation” is possible across the Big Island, forecasters said. Impacts include “possible harm to crops and animals”, with minor equipment and infrastructure damage, and reduced visibility.”
The Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense says people with respiratory illness should remain indoors. “If you must go outdoors, use face coverings to prevent inhaling ash particles,” the message stated.
Volunteers with the American Red Cross, working closely with the Parks and Recreation Department of Hawaii County, say they have opened the following shelter locations in response to the eruption of Mauna Loa:
- Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area – 75-5560 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740.
- Kaʻū District Gym Multi-Purpose Room – 96-1219 Kamani St, Pahala, HI 96777.
From the Red Cross:
The shelters stand ready with Red Crossers who will work with those affected to provide shelter and immediate necessities. Those coming to the shelter are advised to bring essentials such as medicine, important documentation and personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and sanitizer. For those with pets, animals are also welcome at the shelter.
The Red Cross encourages all families to make a disaster plan to include an evacuation plan with two different routes of escape, a communications plan to help families reconnect after disaster and a disaster supplies kit that is readily available to aid in a quick evacuation. Information on developing a family plan is available to the public at redcross.org/hawaii, or a brochure can be requested by calling 734-2101.
UPDATE – (8 a.m. HST) – Hawaiian Airlines says it is continuing to operate flights to and from Hilo today. “Our dispatchers are closely monitoring the eruption of Mauna Loa,” the airline said. “Guests are advised to check their flight status online and visit hawaiianairlines.com for any updates.”