U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Fissure 8 fountained Wednesday on Hawaii island.
Update: 6:40 p.m.
Federal officials are assessing the damage from Kilauea volcano this week as fissure No. 8 continues to pump lava from Leilani Estates to the ocean off Kapoho.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is working with Hawaii County officials to determine which homeowners may be eligible for federal assistance. Authorities estimate that more than 600 homes have been destroyed since the Kilauea volcano eruption outbreak began May 3 in Leilani Estates.
FEMA is working on possible housing assistance but many people likely won’t be eligible because they have homeowner’s insurance or because their homes were vacation rentals. Still, the assistance should provide major relief for some who have been staying in emergency shelters or with family or friends since lava ran over four communities in Puna.
“There are a lot of big decisions ahead of us,” Bob Fenton, a regional FEMA administrator from Oakland, Calif., said today inside the Hawaii County Civil Defense emergency operations center.
Fenton met with Mayor Harry Kim Monday and made a first-hand aerial inspection of the destruction. The flows have been mostly contained to a channel emptying into the ocean for the last several days but have covered more than 5,000 acres.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said this evening that fissure 8 is producing a massive flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho as well as a large laze plume. Gas emissions from the fissure and at the ocean entry continue to be “very high,” they said.
Trade winds are pushing vog southwest around the southern part of the island to the Kona area
A community meeting on volcanic ash and vog is planned for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ocean View Community Center.
Hawaii County officials advise that Leilani Estates west of Pomaikai Street is open only to residents with official credentials; Government Beach Road, between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road, is open to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road only to residents with credentials; and that the Pahoa Community Center shelter is open and pet-friendly, but the Keaau Armory shelter is full.
Hawaii County Civil Defense warns that the large channelized lava flow spilling into the ocean in Kapoho is continuing to produce a large laze plume.
Gas emissions at both the fissure eruption and the ocean entry are “very high,” Civil Defense said. Meanwhile, tradewinds are pushing vog southwest around the southern part of the island toward Kona.
Three closely-spaced lava fountains continue to erupt at fissure 8, albeit with lower maximum heights.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said the lava fountains are reaching maximum heights of 115 to 130 feet this morning. The fissure 8 channel is nearly full with no spillovers.
Fountaining from fissure 8 also continues to spread Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass downwind within Leilani Estates.
Monday 4:50 a.m.
An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 5.3 struck the summit area of Kilauea Volcano today along with another small explosive eruption, but the quake did not generate a tsunami.
The temblor struck at 4:43 a.m., 3.7 miles southwest of Volcano at a depth of 0.5 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
“No tsunami is expected,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin. “However, some areas may have experienced strong shaking.”
No serious injuries were immediately reported. Minor ashfall may occur to the southwest in Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View.
An earlier, smaller explosive eruption occurred at 12:46 a.m.
Sunday 1 p.m.
Volcanic gas emissions remain very high as fissure 8 continues to produce a large flow entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay. The National Weather Service reports tradewinds are pushing volcanic emissions southwest through Pahala and Ocean View areas.
Residents downwind of Kilauea are advised to reduce exposure to volcanic emissions by staying indoors, closing windows or leaving the area. Visit www.epa.gov/kilaueaairdata to monitor sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.
Lava fountains from fissure 8 reached heights of 130 to 180 feet overnight, said USGS.
Measurements done on Saturday show gas emissions have nearly doubled, possibly indicating an increase in eruption rate from fissure 8.
Minor lava activity continues at fissures 16 and 18.
Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground in Leilani Estates.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said a steam explosion occurred at the Kilauea summit early this morning and drivers in Kau, located south of the summit, should be aware of ash fallout.
Fissure 8 continues to produce a large flow entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay.
Saturday, 5 p.m.
Officials say the small overflow outbreak, near the intersection of Highway 132 and Pohoiki, is now fully confined to the channel.
Residents close to the active flow should stay alert and be prepared to voluntarily evacuate with little notice.
Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is still entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay. Sulfur dioxide remains high from fissure eruptions.
The National Weather Service said tradewinds are back and pushing gas emissions to the south.
A small explosion on the summit of Kilauea volcano triggered an earthquake but there are no reports of damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 5.2 earthquake happened around 4:50 a.m. today and felt as far as Hilo.
Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say communities on the south part of the island may be impacted by falling ash.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there is no tsunami threat from the earthquake.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported an explosive eruption occurred at the Kilauea summit at 4:50 a.m. today. The resulting ash plume may affect nearby areas and the wind may carry the ash plume to the southwest toward Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View.
Fissure 8 continues to produce a large channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay. The public is advised of the laze plume produced by lava entering the ocean.
Friday, 11 p.m.
Lava fountains from fissure 8 are reaching heights of about 200 to 220 feet.
There are no reported significant changes in the fissure 8 flow field, which continues to push lava to the ocean entry at Kapoho.
Two steam plumes are rising from the ocean flow front and being blown inland.
“Strong thermal upwelling was noted in the ocean extending up to 1000 yards out to sea from the visible lava front,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in its latest report. “Heavy gas and steam emissions were noted at fissures 9 & 10, but lava emission is occurring only at Fissure 8.”
Visibility continues to be limited on parts of Saddle Road due to high levels of vog and sulfur dioxide from the fissure system moving north and settling into the area. Drivers are warned to drive with caution and visibility on some roads remain at a quarter mile.
Meanwhile a mandatory evacuation order remains for all areas of Leilani Estates, at Pomaikai Street and areas to the east. A curfew has been lifted west of Pomaikai and is open only to residents with official credentials.
Government Beach Road between Kahaki Boulevard and Cinder Road is open to residents with official credentials. There is no curfew.
There is limited visibility in the Saddle Road area due to high levels of vog and sulfur dioxide from the fissure system moving north. The National Weather Service said the vog is wedging into the Saddle area. Visibility on some roads are a quarter of a mile.
The interior and southern part of Hawaii island are expected to have increased levels of vog through tonight.
The Department of Health suggests limiting outside activities and remaining indoors if you have breathing issues. Visit www.epa.gov/kilaueaairdata to monitor sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.