Active Flow Slowly Producing Lava at Puna Geothermal Property

May 22, 2018, 12:52 PM HST · Updated May 22, 1:04 PM
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Aerial view of erupting fissure 22 and lava channels flowing southward from the fissure during an early morning overflight. View is toward the southwest. Photo courtesy of Volcano Helicopters. PC: via USGS

Explosive Eruption Overnight

Another explosive eruption has occurred at the summit of the Kīlauea Volcano overnight at around 3:45 a.m. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that the resulting ash plume reached a height of 8,000 feet with ash affecting areas downwind toward Wood Valley, Pāhala, Nāʻālehu and Waiʻōhinu.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor active flows at Kīlauea. Fissure 6 reactivated last night and has been erupting since around midnight.

Active Lava Moving Slowly on Puna Geothermal Property

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Fissures near Puna Geothermal Venture are active and producing lava slowly flowing onto the property. This activity has destroyed the former Hawaiʻi Geothermal Project site area adjacent to PGV. As of noon, there was no immediate threat to any of the wells at PGV.

County, state, and federal partners have been collaborating closely to monitor the situation and work with Puna Geothermal Venture on Hawaiʻi Island to ensure the safety of the surrounding communities as they deal with the threat of lava encroachment.

Lava from Fissure 22 had crossed onto the Puna Geothermal Venture property on Monday. Ten of the eleven wells have been quenched to prevent the release of dangerous gas. Since the onset of the eruption on May 3rd, crews worked to relocate pentane gas offsite.

Safety Zones Remain in Place

As of noon today, Fissure 20 was feeding one flow entering the ocean, while other fissures are supplying additional flows.  Sulfur dioxide emissions remain high, causing elevated levels in areas downwind of the vents.

Also, due to the laze hazard at the lava ocean entry, a safety zone remains in effect.

An eruption community information meeting will be held at the Pāhoa High cafeteria tonight for affected residents.

EPA continues Air Quality Monitoring at Kīlauea

The US Environmental Protection Agency continues to support efforts to analyze public health threats from volcanic gas emissions from the ongoing Kīlauea eruption on Hawaiʻi Island. Work includes managing technical data and enhancing multi-agency air monitoring of the emissions. EPA has already established 10 air monitoring station locations and continues to work with the state Department of Health and the County of Hawaiʻi on identifying additional locations to provide data on sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and particulate levels. EPA has 16 personnel on Hawaiʻi Island and one representative working with FEMA operations in Honolulu.

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