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Kilauea lava continues to pour into ocean, tradewinds to push vog south and west side of island

  • COURTESY USGS

  • U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

    A USGS geologist makes observations of the fissure 8 lava channel at sunset July 3.

  • U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

    Fissure 8 emits volcanic gas.

  • U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

    Fissure 8 emits volcanic gas.

UPDATE:

6 p.m.

Hawaii County Civil Defense reminded the public the areas near Four Corners and within Kapoho Beach Lots are closed due to breakouts of lava. Fissure 8 is oozing fresh lava at Kapoho Beach Lots and a flow near the Four Corners area.

10:30 a.m.

An explosion at the Kilauea summit at 10:21 a.m. resulted in a small ash plume as well as a 5.4-magnitude earthquake, according to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency. No tsunami was generated.

6 a.m.

Lava continues to flow into the ocean at Kapoho Bay from the “very active” fissure 8, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Fissure 22 is also active, producing a short flow.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense reports “very high” gas emissions from the fissure eruption and laze from the ocean entry. Tradewinds are expected to drive the vog to the south and west side of the island, reports the National Weather Service.

As a result of the high gas levels, the Hawaii County Civil Defense reminds residents and visitors in Pahoa and the surrounding areas:

>> Drivers: Slow down and drive with caution over steel plates.

>> McKenzie State Recreation Area and the new lava flow areas remain closed.

>> Kamaili Road is open to residents including Opihikao.

>> Highway 130 is open.

>> Highway 137 is open from Highway 130 north to Opihikao road.

>> There are no lava viewing areas on Highways 130 and 137.

>> Kalapana-area businesses and vacation rentals may resume normal operations.

The Diaster Recovery Center, located in Keaau, will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Visit the Hawaii County Civil Defense or State Department of Health websites for more details.

TUESDAY, JULY 3

12:30 p.m.

There have been no significant changes to the eruption in the lower East Rift Zone in the last 24 hours, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

HVO officials caution eruption onlookers that venturing too close to lava entering the ocean puts one at risk of exposure to flying debris from the explosive interaction between lava and water. The lava delta itself is unstable and can slide into the sea due to erosion by surf. And “laze” — consisting of a seawater plume laden with hydrocholoric acid and fine volcanic particles — can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

Tuesday 6:30 a.m.

Fissure 8 continues to be very active and is feeding a lava channel emptying into the ocean in Kapoho, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Fissure 22 is also active and is producing a short flow.

Gas emissions and laze from the fissure eruption and ocean entry, respectively, are also very high. Trade winds are expected to carry vog to the south and west of Hawaii island, according to the National Weather Service.

Another gas explosion shook Kilauea summit overnight with energy equal to a 5.1-magnitude earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There was no tsunami threat and no emissions were seen above Halemaumau crater.

Highway 130 remains on schedule to reopen at 8 a.m. However, drivers are advised to proceed slowly and with caution due to steel plates in the roadway. Kamalii Road will be open to residents only and Highway 137 will be open from Highway 130 north to Opihikao Road.

Monday 10 p.m.

Highway 130 will re-open to all traffic beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Kamaili Road will be open to residents only. Highway 137 will be open from Highway 130 north to Opihikao Road.

McKenzie State Recreation Area and the new lava flow areas remain closed.

Vacation rentals, as well as all businesses in the Kalapana area, can resume normal operations, said Hawaii County Civil Defense.

A community meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Pahoa High School.

1:35 p.m.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said the Department of Health determined current weather conditions resulted in elevated gas levels in the lower East Rift Zone and Pahoa areas of the Big Island.

While tradewinds are expected from the northeast later this afternoon to help improve air quality and push vog toward the southwest for the rest of this week, high levels of sulfur dioxide were measured in the area earlier today.

Due to the high gas levels, residents and visitors in Pahoa and the surrounding areas should:

>> Shelter in place or leave the area.

>> Use air conditioning for relief (set unit to recirculate air).

>> Reduce exposure by limiting outdoor activity.

For current information, visit the Hawaii County Civil Defense or State Department of Health websites.

12:55 p.m.

The United States Postal Service has announced mail delivery on routes served by the Pahoa Post Office is suspended today due to to the Kilauea Volcano eruption on Hawaii island.

Affected customers can still pick up their mail at the Pahoa Post Office. Retail operations at the post office are not affected.

The USPS says delivery will resume “when conditions permit.”

6:30 a.m.

A moderate earthquake preceded another explosive eruption at Kilauea’s summit overnight with a small ash plume.

The magnitude-5.3 quake struck at 1:24 a.m., 4.2 miles southwest of Volcano at a depth of 0.68 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Winds may carry the small ash plume that was generated to the southwest toward Wood Valley, Pahala and Ocean View, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.

Meanwhile, at fissure 8, a spatter cone continues to supply a lava channel, resulting in intermittent small overflows. The cone itself is 180 feet tall and lava fountains have rarely been cresting that point. Lava continues to enter the ocean over a broad area.

Fissure 22 is spattering up to 262 feet above a conical spatter cone and is feeding a short lava flow moving slowly northeast along the edge of earlier flows, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from both fissure eruptions and trade wind conditions are expected to deliver vog to the south and west of Hawaii island.

Kilauea lower East Rift Zone lava flows and fissures, June 30 by Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Scribd

Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea’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)

MORE KILAUEA COVERAGE
>> Halemaumau Crater at Kilauea is double former size, scientists say
>> Puna residents complain of squatters, looters and thieves
>> Pahoa women provide comfort and support to their neighbors
>> Planned lava-viewing area might not be close to Puna, Ige says
>> World Central Kitchen helps ensure quality meals available for evacuees
>> Kilauea emissions affect Malama Ki Forest reserve
>> Salvation Army serves up meals at Red Cross shelters
>> Lava blocks access to favorite Hawaii island shoreline sites
>> Charter school co-founder looks to future after eruption
>> Closed voting sites and early absentee ballots raise concerns in Puna
>> Hula conference, chants to Pele coincide with the eruption
>> Kilauea eruption has cost state, county more than $5.8M
>> Lava output far outpaces previous eruptions
>> For National Guard, lava disaster presents real-world mission

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