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Lava fountains reach up to 230 feet overnight at fissure 8

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USGS update for June 6.
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Video by Sarah Domai / Honolulu Star-Advertiser
This timeline of maps provided by USGS shows the progression of lava from May 4 to June 5, 2018.
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Changes occurring within Halemaumau crater
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The fissure 8 fountain height has diminished, as observed Monday evening and early Tuesday morning.
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Flyover of Kapoho Bay on Monday.
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Fissure 8 fountained Wednesday on Hawaii island.

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This screenshot from the live video camera at Kilauea’s summit shows the beginning of Wednesday afternoon’s ash eruption.

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The view of Halemaumau crater from the observation tower at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Wednesday, at 12:30 p.m.

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USGS officials confirmed the Vacationland subdivision has been completely covered by lava flows in an overflight this morning.

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The lava flow from fissure 8 was seen pouring into entering Kapoho Bay during an overflight at 6:13 a.m. Monday. The ocean entry was reported to have occurred by 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

UPDATE: 9:15 a.m.

Lava fountaining at fissure 8 fluctuated overnight, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said, reaching heights up to 230 feet.

The activity from fissure 8 continues to feed a lava channel flowing east to Kapoho Bay. Although the northern lobe of the fissure 8 flow is not receiving significant quantities of lava and the formerly active lobe on the west side of the Four Corners cinder pit is now inactive, lava is entering the ocean along a broad front around Kapoho Bay and Vacationland.

No other fissures are active.

6:30 a.m.

“Vigorous” lava eruptions continue in the lower East Rift Zone this morning as fissure 8 remains very active, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Lava entering the ocean along the Kapho coastline continues to produce a large laze plume.

5 a.m.

Lava continued to fountain at fissure 8 Wednesday night, reaching heights between 130 to 210 feet.

Meanwhile, downstream, lava continued to enter the ocean in the Vacationland subdivision. However, lava from the main channel flowing into Kapoho was not feeding the northern lobe as of 3 a.m. today.


5:40 p.m.

An ash eruption at the Kilauea summit sent a plume of ash some 10,000 feet into the air late this afternoon.

The eruption, which scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory predicted earlier in the day, occurred at about 4:10 p.m.

HVO officials said southwesterly winds could send ash to the Volcano and Pahala areas.

Hawaii County Civil Defense is advising residents who are already at home to stay indoors with the windows closed. Those outside should seek cover. People in cars should keep the windows closed. Ash fallout could also cause poor driving conditions, so drivers are advised to drive with extreme caution or to pull over and park

Once the hazard has passed, residents should check their homes and catchment systems, civil defense officials said.

1:45 p.m.

Slow, easterly winds are expected to usher vog to the interior of Hawaii island starting tonight and continuing over the next two days, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

There is also the possibility that volcanic gas output and ash emissions may increase, negatively affecting the air quality over the central and southern areas of the island, the agency said. Tradewinds are not expected to return until the weekend.

A community meeting on volcanic ash and vog will be held at 5:30 p.m. today at the West Hawaii Civic Center Council Chamber – Building A in Kona.

11:45 a.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists expect more seismic activity followed by an explosion at Kilauea today.

“There’s a pattern,” geologist Wendy Stovall said today. “More frequent earthquakes leading to larger events and then an explosion. We’re actually expecting one to come within the next few hours, with plumes between 8,000 and 15,000 feet above sea level.”

Just before Stovall and others spoke on a conference call with reporters today, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported that a 4.1 magnitude earthquake struck the Hamakua Coast at 10:39 a.m. However, further analysis showed it was an erroneous reading “due to multiple small earthquakes occurring in quick succession,” according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Fissure 8 continues to pour lava into Kapoho Bay and has now extended the coastline by .8 miles, Stovall said.

“The bay is completely filled in and the shoreline is now at least .8 miles out from its original location before the ocean entry began,” she said. “All of Vacationland, Hawaii has been completely covered by lava. Vacationland is gone.”

Jessica Ferracane, spokeswoman for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, said she was at Kilauea’s summit this morning and experienced “three sizable earthquakes.”

With ash all around, “it’s a beautiful, blue day but it really seemed eerie up there. … It really makes things seem unsettled, literally and figuratively,” Ferracane said.

10:40 a.m.

The latest confirmed count of homes overrun by lava has increased to 130 from 117, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense today.

The figure, however, is expected to soar as “hundreds of homes” are believed to be destroyed in Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots, said spokeswoman Janet Snyder.

Lava has ravaged all of Vacationland and only the northern tier of Kapoho Beach Lots remains for now.

Officials are reviewing daily aerial photographs and footage as well as census and property tax records to determine the number of homes consumed by lava.

Census records show about 350 homes at Vacationland and 150 homes at Kapoho Beach Lots, according to Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno.

10 a.m.

The partial collapse of Halemaumau crater continues as the summit subsides due to the movement of magma toward the East Rift Zone.

7:30 a.m.

The Vacationland subdivision has been completely covered by lava and is entering the ocean in the area.

U.S. Geological Survey officials confirmed the development during a 6:30 a.m. overflight today.

Additionally, lava flows extended 100 yards north in Kapoho Beach Lots as fissure 8 continues fountaining.

5 a.m.

Lava from fissure 8 continued to fountain Tuesday night to heights consistent with those observed earlier in the day.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials said the northernmost lobe of fissure 8 was advancing very slowly to the northeast and that no other fissure vents were active.


5 p.m.

Lava fountaining at fissure 8 is reported to be at 150 to 180 feet and continues to feed a channel pushing lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay area.


A large laze plume is blowing inland into the air along the coastline near Kapoho Bay, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

The Hawaii State Department has partnered with the Civil Defense and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expand air quality stations in the Kilauea East Rift Zone to monitor conditions during volcanic activity. Responders are using data to make evacuation recommendations. The public can access the data here: http://epa.gov/kilaueaairdata.

Fissure 8 continues to produce a large flow that has inundated Vacationland and most of Kapoho Beach Lots. The ocean entry has filled Kapoho Bay and is extending 0.7 miles from shore.

Government Beach Road, between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road, is open to Waa Waa and Papaya Farms Road residents only with official credentials. There is no curfew.

The shelter at Pahoa Community Center is open and pet-friendly. The Keaau Armory shelter has reached capacity.

A community meeting will be held at the Pahoa High School cafeteria at 5 p.m.

9:30 a.m.

Lava has completely filled Kapoho Bay. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials confirmed the development during their morning overflight.

The intensity of lava fountaining from fissure 8 declined overnight, with fountain heights fluctuating between 130 and 160 feet, the HVO said. However, the fissure continues to feed a channel transporting lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east into the ocean at Kapoho Bay.

Lava is also entering the water to the south at the Vacationland tidepools. The northernmost lobe of the fissure 8 flow, around Noni Farms Road, moved 200 yards downslope overnight.

No other fissure vents showed significant activity this morning, the HVO said.

7:15 a.m.

Lava extends 0.7 miles into Kapoho Bay, and most of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach lots have been inundated by lava, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists said after a 6:30 a.m. overflight today.

Fissure 8 is fountaining up to 150 feet high but the lava channel remains full.

7 a.m.

Vigorous lava eruptions continue in the lower East Rift Zone as lava continues to fill in Kapoho Bay.

Fissure 8, which is producing the large channelized flow feeding lava into the bay, is still very active, scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said today.

5:15 a.m.

A small explosion occurred at Kilauea’s summit at 4:32 a.m.

A magnitude-5.5 earthquake accompanied the explosion but did not generate a tsunami.

Kilauea expelled an ash plume that rose to around 5,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service.


The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Kapoho Bay has reported lava continued to inundate Kapoho Bay.

As of Monday night, lava was filling Kapoho Bay, extending out roughly 750 yards from shore.

The lava flow pouring into the ocean at Kapoho Bay is emanating a large laze plume along the coastline. Laze is formed when hot lava impacts the ocean, sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air.

The corrosive gas mixture causes irritation to eyes, skin and lungs.

Fountaining at fissure 8 remains active with heights reaching up to 130 to 160 feet. The Hawaii Volcano Observatory also reported spattering at fissures 6 and 13, and sluggish lava flows in the proximity of fissure 18.

Field crews are onsite in Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone tracking the eruption activity.

HVO noted volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Tradewinds are pushing vog to the south and west sides of Hawaii island. Easterly winds forecasted for Tuesday afternoon may bring vog to the Volcano area.

Meanwhile, sulfur dioxide emission rates at the Kilauea summit remain high, impacting air quality in regions downwind.

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Given the dynamic nature of Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (see large map)

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