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Another quake, explosive eruption shake Kilauea summit

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  • USGS

    Video of the lava ocean entry during a June 9 overflight of the lower East Rift Zone. The main steam plume marks location where the primary lava channel enters the ocean.

  • 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.

  • Video courtesy USGS

    Field crews conducted a helicopter overflight of the braided lava channel in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone today, around 6:30 a.m., looking for spillovers.


    The view of Halemaumau crater at 7:20 a.m. today. A moderate quake was followed by another explosive eruption at the summit early this morning.


    Volcano activity on Kahukai Street on Monday in Leilani Estates.


    The ocean entry is most active in the Vacationland area (the southern portion of the lava delta), Tuesday morning, with multiple small lava streams spilling into the water, producing many small laze plumes.


    The lava flow from fissure 8 entered the ocean at Kapoho on Thursday, as seen in a Sentinel 2 satellite image.


    Lava map as of Sunday.


    The three closely spaced lava fountains at fissure 8 were erupting with slightly lower maximum heights of 115-130 feet Monday morning. Lava continued to be fed into the channelized flow trending north and then east to a single ocean entry at Kapoho.


    Gases rose from Halemaumau Crater atop Kilauea Volcano during an overflight of the summit Friday at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.


    Lava from Kilauea Volcano flowed in and around Pahoa on Sunday.


    Lava from Kilauea Volcano flowed in and around Pahoa on Sunday.


    Photographers recorded fissure 8 activity on Kahukai Street on Monday in Leilani Estates.

UPDATE: 6:45 a.m.

Fissure 8 is continuing to produce a large channelized flow entering Kapoho Bay, which is producing a large laze plume, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Gas emissions from both the fissure eruption and the ocean entry are still very high.

There will be a community meeting on volcanic ash and vog at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ocean View Community Center.

4:45 a.m.

A moderate earthquake shook the summit area of Kilauea Volcano early this morning. However, no tsunami is expected.

The magnitude-5.3 quake struck at 3:39 a.m. at a depth of 0.3 kilometers and was centered 3.7 miles, west-southwest of Volcano, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“No tsunami is expected,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. “However, some areas may have experienced strong shaking.”

The quake was followed by another explosive eruption at the summit. The accompanying ash plume rose to around 5,000 feet and drifted southwest bringing possible ashfall downwind, the USGS said.

No serious injuries were immediatley reported.


3 p.m.

An eruption community meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. today at the Pahoa High School cafeteria.

Gas emissions continue to be high from fissure eruption and the large flow entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay. The Department of Health recommends limiting outside activities and remaining indoors if you have breathing issues.


Lighter winds toward the end of the week could send vog and sulfur dioxide from Kilauea’s eruption “over more populated areas,” including Hilo, according to the National Weather Service.

“Eventually Hilo’s going to get into this,” said Robert Ballard, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

An “unusual late June stretch of relatively weak trades” is expected to arrive Friday or Saturday and “may last well into next week,” Ballard said. “That’s a concern.”

At the same time, the summit of Kilauea is expected to continue erupting.

Including an explosion at 1:52 a.m. today, Kilauea has experienced 23 “larger explosions” just since May 17, said geologist Janet Babb.

But the most recent ones have been “ash poor” and none of the material appears to have reached higher than 10,000 feet above sea level, Babb said.

Brian Shiro, supervisory geophysicist at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said the “large, explosive” eruptions could be relieving pressure on Kilauea by “serving as a bit of a release valve.”

At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said “everything” is coated “almost in a layer of white flour.”

Along Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone, some 9.1 acres of Lower Puna are now covered in lava.

10 a.m.

A line of vents at fissure 8 is continuing to fountain lava today, reaching heights up to 160 feet, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials. A small overflow of a minor lava pond to the east of fissure 8 was also noted during HVO’s overflight this morning.

Lava is pouring into the ocean across a broader area off Vacationland.

Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from the fountaining of fissure 8 continue to disperse within Leilani Estates.

7:45 a.m.

The large channelized lava flow from fissure 8 continues to pour into the ocean at Kapoho Bay, producing a large laze plume, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said this morning. Gas emissions from both the lava’s ocean entry and the fissure eruption remain very high.

Fissure 8 continues to fountain, reaching heights up to 100 to 130 feet, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials.

5 a.m.

Another small explosion rocked the Kilauea summit overnight, preceded by a moderate earthquake.

The magnitude 5.3 quake struck at 1:52 a.m., 3.9 miles southwest of Volcano at a depth of 0.8 kilometers, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The ash plume from the crater explosion that followed will likely affect the areas to the southwest, including Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.

The quake did not generate a tsunami.


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.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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