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Hawaii News

Scientists monitoring renewed fissure activity

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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists say while the continually fountaining vent known as Fissure 8 continues to be very active with channelized flow entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay, lava is now oozing from three other fissures that are being monitored and described as “weakly active.”

Fissures 16 and 18 are oozing lava, while fissure 6 appeared as an orange glow with mild spattering during Monday morning’s overflight, scientists said. The flow field appears to remain stable.

Fountains from fissure 8 reach up to 180 feet high, with lava entering the southern part of Kapoho Bay, near the vicinity of Vacationland. The land formed there is now about 360 acres. The vent is producing a large sulfur dioxide plume and a large “laze” plume at the ocean entry.

At 6 a.m. Monday, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported an explosion at the Kilauea summit, with the energy of a 5.3-magnitude earthquake.

Seismic activity, meanwhile, continued at Kilauea’s summit, with earthquakes overnight.

Hawaii Civil Defense said 5,914 acres or 9.25 square miles of land had been affected by the Leilani eruption as of Monday. A total of 533 homes had been destroyed.

Mayor Kim hospitalized after mild heart attack

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim was recuperating Monday at Hilo Medical Center, where he was taken early Saturday after a mild heart attack — his sixth.

The mayor said he had suffered discomfort, and his wife called 911 for an ambulance, the county said.

“The doctor told me I can’t leave because he doesn’t trust me to rest,” the mayor said in the news release. “I’d fire him if I could.”

Kim had been taken to the hospital early Friday, where he was diagnosed with a relapse of pneumonia and released to return home for rest.

Kim has been at the helm of the ongoing response to the Puna eruption, and late Thursday night he was taking a look at the preparations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center at the Keaau High School gym.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of everybody in County, State and Federal agencies for getting the DRC up and running in less than a day,” Kim said.

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