Volcano news & updates: Kilauea volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Kilauea volcano update: Lava advances within 1km of farms
Thursday Sep 04, 2014 02:50 AM | BY: PO
According to officials, the June 27th lava flow has reemerged for the second time from a huge ground crack along Kilauea's east rift zone, this time approximately 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, but still continues moving through the ground crack to within 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the boundary.
USGS-HVO photo of lava flowing back into a large crack near Kaohe Homesteads on September 1, 2014.
The inhabited area under immediate threat, Kaohe Homesteads, consists mainly of farms who are already relocating cows, horses, goats & sheep due to increased emissions and smoke from burning forest. The Civil Defense plans to issue an evacuation notice 5 days before lava is expected to hit the community, but with natural variability there will be some guesswork involved. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory plans to increase the alert level from a "watch" to "warning" status within the next day or so, which will trigger Civil Defense to close the area to all non-residents. Looking ahead, the town of Pahoa and the main highway into the lower Puna district could be under threat next, and authorities are already considering construction on alternate routes should this look likely to happen.
Will lava advance through Kaohe and/or Pahoa? In the short term, probably not. Once the lava establishes a good downhill path out of the cracks, it will advance to the northeast because of the slope, and if it can establish that path from the current spillover point it will miss Kaohe. However, in the longer term (however long Pu`u `O`o continues to feed lava in this direction, which could be weeks to years), the big cracks will continue to funnel lava closer to Kaohe and Pahoa and likely create multiple spillover points. The longer the eruption continues without a plumbing change, the more likely lava will fill in the whole area.
We will issue updates as frequently as necessary, reporting directly from Kilauea on the developing situation with specialized coverage.
Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
The June 27 lava flow remains active and is now only approx. 2 km from the nearest inhabited area. Its farthest front had been spreading in the forest over the past few days and was seen to be spilling into yet another ground crack about 12.6 km (~7.8 miles) from the vent and about 1.9 km (~1.2 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. [more]
Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014
The lava flow branch that entered and followed a deep ground crack on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone last week has resurfaced and is now forming a small lava island inside the forest. Its farthest point is 11.4 km (7.1 miles) from the the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 3.1 km (1.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. [more]
Monday, Jul 28, 2014
A piece of the crater walls of the Halema'uma'u lava lake collapsed on 23 July and triggered a small explosive eruption. Liquid spatter was ejected to the outer perimeter of the pit crater (including webcam position and the closed observation area) and an ash plume was generated. ... [more]
Tuesday, Jul 01, 2014
The new June 27 lava flows continue to be very active, at expense of the previously active Kahaualeʻa 2 flow which seems to have stopped being active. ... [more]
Sunday, Jun 29, 2014
A new lava breakout occurred Friday early morning (local time) from a new vent on the outer northern flank of Pu'u 'O'o crater. It feeds a new lava flow with several branches headed to the north and northeast. The most advanced of the them traveled to the NW and had quickly reached a length of approx 1 km yesterday, but has not advanced much since. ... [more]