Seismic activity at the summit area of Kilauea Volcano steadily increased Wednesday as conditions progressed toward another cyclical collapse at Halemaumau Crater.
Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were predicting the crater collapse would occur late Wednesday afternoon or evening, with confirmation pending today’s overflight of the area. The previous collapse occurred at 6:41 a.m. Tuesday and was similar to previous collapse events. No new overflows resulted from that collapse.
Since that collapse, the observatory reported that earthquakes were fluctuating between 20 and 40 per hour and inward slumping of the rim and walls of the crater was detected.
Meanwhile fissure 8 continued to erupt, sending lava into the lava channel leading northeastward to the ocean entry at Ahalanui.
The flow remains roughly 500 feet from Pohoiki boat ramp at Isaac Hale Park without any significant westward progress toward the ramp in the last day, according to HVO.
No other fissures were active on Wednesday morning.
State Highways advised motorists on Wednesday to stay on the pavement and be alert for changing roadway conditions when traveling on Highway 11 between mile marker 28 and 32.
While lava fountaining at the active vent remains low, Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at fissure 8 continues to travel downwind within a few hundred meters, the observatory reported.
Lava entering the ocean at Ahalanui has also produced a large amount of laze — a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that drifts downwind and can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs — making the entry area particularly hazardous. Hawaii Civil Defense also is warning the public about flying debris produced by the explosive interaction of lava and water.
Hawaii County Civil Defense, meanwhile, announced that the Disaster Recovery Center on Hawaii island is moving from Keaau High School gym to the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, starting 8 a.m. on Monday and will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. It will be closed on Sundays. In the meantime, the Discovery Recovery Center at Keaau High School will maintain regular hours until 4 p.m. Saturday.