East Rift Zone Eruption Update 6 A.M. – Air Quality, Fissure Update

This is a Civil Defense Message for Wednesday, May 16 at 6:00 in the morning.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that several fissures are active producing spatter, however the flow from Fissure 17 has not advanced since yesterday.  For up to date information go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/2018-lava-map

For the latest images and information from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory:

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

HVO has increased the Aviation Color Code to Red due to increased ash emission from Kilauea.  Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog have been reported along Highway 11 to Pahala. At any time, activity may increase the intensity of ash production.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

Volcano School of Arts and Sciences will be closed today (5/16/18).

Hawaii Fire Department reports that air quality is condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may lead to symptoms such as eye and nose irritation, and coughing. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas is especially dangerous for the elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 is open beyond Malama Street for local residents only.  The Hawaii Police Department reports no large trailers or heavy equipment will be allowed over the metal plates.

Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School.  Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.

As a precautionary measure, residents of lower Puna are advised to be on the alert in the event of possible gas emissions and volcanic eruption. Because there may be little to no advance notice to evacuate, you should be prepared to evacuate at short notice.  Take this time to prepare.

If you evacuate voluntarily, the Pahoa Community Center and Kea’au Community Center are open. Food will be provided and the shelters are pet-friendly. This is a precautionary message.  We want everyone in the Lower Puna area to be ready, and to remain safe.

County, State and Federal partners continue to monitor the situation.  You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

The residents of Puna are going through a very difficult time.  We ask for your help and understanding.

Thank you for listening.  Have a safe day.  This is your Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.