Volcano Update: Explosion Releases Ash 15,000 Ft High, 4.5 Earthquake Overnight

May 29, 2018, 6:21 AM HST · Updated May 29, 8:41 AM
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    The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that an ash eruption at Kīlauea summit occurred overnight at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2018.  The resulting ash plume reached 15,000 feet, according to HVO officials.  Scientists say the wind is blowing in the Northwest direction and ash fall out may affect the areas of Volcano, Pāhala, Nāʻālehu.

    Also overnight, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake was reported in the summit region of the Kīlauea Volcano at 1:56 a.m.  The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement saying that no tsunami was expected.

    As of 8 a.m., the National Weather Service reported Pele’s Hair (volcanic glass fibers) falling in the Pāhoa area.

    This morning, officials are monitoring active flows near the Highway 132 and Pohoiki Road junction.  If 132 is overrun, Beach Road will be the only access into the lower Puna area.

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    As of 6:30 a.m., Highway 132 was being shut down between Lava Tree State Park to Four Corners, due to a fast moving lava flow approaching the highway. Everyone is advised to avoid the area. Beach Road is the only access into lower Puna. The public is advised to make necessary plans and monitor for Civil Defense alerts.

    The Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency reports this morning that a lava flow from Fissure 8 began advancing rapidly to the northeast from near Kahukai Road before 4 a.m.  It crossed Pohoiki Road at 5 a.m. and was moving along the northern margin of an older flow toward the Puna Geothermal Venture access road.

    This comes on the heels of a fast moving pahoehoe lava flow from Fissure 8 in the Leilani Estates subdivision on the Big Island with reports of lava fountaining on Monday.  Civil Defense officials were warning residents last night of the advancing flow on Nohea and Kupono Streets north of Leilani Street, with reports of lava fountains on Moku Street.

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    Individuals in the area, from Pomaikai east, were being advised to leave the area.  Shelters were being offered at the Pāhoa Community Center, Keaʻau Community Center and Sure Foundation Church.

    Aerial view of active lava flow crossing Pohoiki Road during an overflight on Monday morning, May 28, 2018 about 7 a.m. HST. Pohoiki Road cuts through middle of photograph. Note lava fountains erupting (top right) from fissure 8 (left-side fountain) and 24 (right-side fountain) from the fissure complex. By late this morning, the flow’s advance slowed to a few meters (yards) per hour, and fissure 8 activity had diminished significantly. PC: US Geological Survey

    Close view of lava channel in middle of the lava flow erupting from fissure 8 during Monday morning’s overflight at about 7 a.m. HST. The tallest lava fountain is fissure 8, active since yesterday evening. The eruption rate at fissure 8 diminished significantly later in the morning. PC: US Geological Survey

    View of the fissure complex looking toward the southwest (uprift) during Monday afternoon’s (5.28.18) overflight at about 1:15 p.m. HST. The small lava flows spreading to the southeast from the fissure complex (lower middle) originate in the area of between fissures 16 and 18. The channelized lava flow in upper left originates from fissure 22. PC: US Geological Survey

    View of the fissure complex is toward the southeast during Monday afternoon’s (5.28.18) overflight of the lower East Rift Zone at about 1:15 p.m. HST. The lava channel in middle of photograph is filling with lava erupted from fissure 22. PC: US Geological Survey.

    View of the now-sluggish lava flow that crossed Pohoiki Road earlier on Monday (5.28.18) ; the flow originated from fissure 8. This fissure was very active overnight, slowed Monday morning, and stopped by about noon on Monday. During the close of an overflight this afternoon, lava began erupting downrift of fissure 8 in the area between about fissure 7 and 21 (low fountains in upper right). This photo was taken at about 1:45 p.m. HST on 5.28.18. PC: US Geological Survey

    Close view of weak ocean entry at about 1:05 p.m. HST on Monday, May 28, 2018. Only small and intermittent “laze” plumes have been observed on Monday. The vents that supplied lava to the flow and sea stopped erupting overnight, and only residual lava still hot within the flow occasionally spilled into the sea. PC: US Geological Survey.

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