“Kamokuna” Lava Ocean Entry Continues – Significant Hazards Persist

Lava from the 61g flow continues into the ocean along Kīlauea’s south coast.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Today’s field crew also noted active pāhoehoe breakouts a few hundred meters (yards) upslope from the coast and road.

Meanwhile, back at the summit of Kīlauea…

Perched on the rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and NPS Jaggar Museum (foreground) overlook the active lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The black lava flows to the left and right of the fuming vent spilled onto the crater floor in April-May 2015, when the lava lake briefly filled to overflowing.

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continuously circulates, with lava upwelling on one side of the lake and downwelling on the opposite side, often resulting in vigorous spattering (bright spot on left side of lake).

The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right.  Click to enlarge

The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right. Click to enlarge

As it circulates, sections of the dark-colored, semi-solid lake surface pull apart, revealing the incandescent molten lava beneath and creating the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle. This evening, the lava lake surface was about 26 m (85 ft) below the vent rim.

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry (location where lava meets the sea) for Flow 61G, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water.

Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Palila Forest Discovery Trail – New Trail Opens Celebrating Mauna Kea’s High-Elevation Dry Forest

The yellow, white-and-gray palila, a highly endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper, is one of the world’s most isolated birds. It lives only in a small patch of māmane forest on the western slope of Mauna Kea volcano on Hawai‘i Island. With the opening today of the new Palila Forest Discovery Trail, visitors will be now able to see palila and other native species that call this distinctive ecosystem home.

Palila

The Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)’s Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project and American Bird Conservancy (ABC) teamed up to build the trail, thanks to the generous support of the Laura Jane Musser Fund Environmental Initiative Program and other community sponsors and volunteers.

The mile-long loop takes hikers through Mauna Kea’s unique, high-elevation dry forest. “This new trail will bring folks closer to a remote and often unfamiliar area of Hawaiʻi,” said Jackson Bauer, the trail’s coordinator. “People will be able to see the critically endangered palila and learn about its māmane forest home.”

Folks working up on Mauna Kea a while back.

Folks working up on Mauna Kea a while back.

Four informational kiosks provide historical, cultural, and ecological information about what makes this forest so special. In addition, 20 small identification signs with QR codes are distributed at key locations along the trail. Hikers can use their smartphones to learn even more about the plants, animals in the area, threats to them, and actions being taken to protect them. That information is also be available online.

Palila Bird

The palila has been loved by Hawaiians since ancient times. The birds, and the rest of the natural world, influenced the development of Hawaii’s unique culture. For instance, when Queen Dowager Emma of Hawai‘i visited Mauna Kea in the early 1880s, a series of mele (songs or chants) commemorated the event, including one from 1882 that describes the melodic song of palila.

Palila used to be found across the state, but habitat loss and invasive species have decimated their numbers. Only about 2,000 of the birds remain, all found on Mauna Kea. “As with many of Hawai‘i’s unique species, not enough people are aware of the palila’s precarious situation and the need for urgent action,” said Chris Farmer, American Bird Conservancy’s Hawai‘i Program Director.

Farmer added, “We believe educating people about the importance of this species, and raising awareness about the threats we are managing today, will build local and national support for the actions necessary to preserve this bird for future generations, such as habitat restoration and non-native species control.”

Governor Signs New Rule To Designate 10-Year Fishing Rest Period For Ka‘ūpūlehu, West Hawaii

Governor David Ige signed a new rule last week to create a new marine reserve at Ka‘ūpūlehu, on the west coast of Hawaii island. The rule will take effect on Friday, July 29.

Big Island, Hawaii, Paniau at Puako, coastal scenic, Lalamilo

Big Island, Hawaii, Paniau at Puako, coastal scenic, Lalamilo

The new reserve boundaries will encompass the existing Ka‘ūpūlehu Fish Replenishment Area.  The rule establishes a 10-year near shore no take “rest period” —with limited exceptions—to allow for the recovery of reef fish stocks prior to the implementation of a fishery management plan for Ka‘ūpūlehu.

“The establishment of this reserve is largely due to the steadfast commitment and efforts of many community members, including long-time fishermen and native Hawaiians who live and fish in this area.  They worked for more than 17 years to get support for the Ka‘ūpūlehu Reserve,” said Suzanne Case, chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  “As a result of the rest period, we can expect to see more uhu and other reef fish critical to the health of the coral ecosystem at Ka‘ūpūlehu and surrounding areas.”

“Marine reserves and “rest” areas have proven to be effective in many other areas of Hawai’i and around the world,” said Bruce Anderson, administrator of the Division of Aquatic Resources.  Coral reef ecosystems can recover in just five to 10 years under the right conditions, and the Ka‘ūpūlehu area was a very productive fishery historically. We will monitor the abundance of fish and coral cover annually, and develop a responsible management plan that should allow for at least some types of fishing to resume once the rest area is re-opened,” said Anderson.

The rule prohibits the take or possession of any aquatic life within the reserve boundaries, from the shoreline seaward to the 20-fathom (120-foot) depth contour.   Beyond of the 20-fathom depth contour, hook-and-line fishing is allowed for the following bottom fish, pelagic, and introduced species: ‘opakapaka, kalekale, lehi, gindai, onaga, ehu, hapu‘upu‘u, uku, nabeta, aku, ahi and tombo, a‘u, ono, mahimahi, ta‘ape, toau, and roi; also Kona crab may be taken by Kona crab net.  (See administrative rule for species names.)

The rule also prohibits the possession or use of any fishing gear other than hook-and-line and/or Kona crab net within the reserve; and deploying any fishing gear shoreward of the 20 fathom depth contour.

A map of the area and GPS coordinates of the boundaries can be found at:

In 1998 the Legislature designated the West Hawai‘i Regional Fishery Management Area (FMA) to address declining aquatic resources resulting from improved shoreline access along the Kona coast.  The law, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes chapter 188F, required DLNR to identify and designate areas within the FMA as fish reserves where no fishing of reef-dwelling fish is allowed.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) held a combined public information meeting and formal public rulemaking hearing on February 11, 2016 in West Hawai‘i to amend Hawaii Administrative Rules (“HAR”) Title 13, chapter 60.4, to establish the Ka‘ūpūlehu Marine Reserve.  The rules were approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) on May 27, 2016.

The updated regulation will be posted on Friday July 29, 2016 on the Division of Aquatic Resources website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/fishing/fishing-regulations/regulated-areas/regulated-fishing-areas-on-hawaii/

 

Statewide Community Meetings on Improving Public Education

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and Board of Education (BOE) have scheduled a series of community meetings to provide updates on plans to better public education.  These meetings are part of the ongoing outreach effort in the updating of the Strategic Plan.

Student Success

Student success is at the core of the DOE/BOE Strategic Plan, which sets targets for progress tied to three goals. Earlier this year, the DOE/BOE embarked on a review and extension of the plan.

“We have sought input from students, teachers, school leaders, parents, employers and community members and their feedback is an important component as we move forward,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.  “Additionally, we are reviewing our student data, and the output of the Governor’s team on the Every Student Succeeds Act. Based on the collective feedback, we will develop new strategies to support student success.”

“A lot of work has been done and we want to share this information with our school communities and education stakeholders,” added BOE Chairman Lance Mizumoto.  “We encourage anyone interested in public education to attend our meetings to learn about our efforts.”

Staff from DOE will be collecting community members’ perspectives on the draft Strategic Plan priorities, which will also be used to inform the Plan’s review and extension.

The Governor’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Team is also sharing information about new opportunities under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Hawaii’s state plan for ESSA will be informed by the Strategic Plan.

For more information about the Strategic Plan or ESSA, please visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Hawai‘i Island

AUG. 3, 2016 BOE Community Meeting at Kanu o ka ʻĀina Learning ʻOhana,
Hālau Hoʻolako Building, ʻOluʻOlu Room. Address: 65-1043 Hiʻiaka Street, Waimea.
5-6:30 p.m.
AUG. 17, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Kealakehe High School.
Address: 74-5000 Puohulihuli St, Kailua-Kona. 4:30-6:30 p.m.
AUG. 24, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Waiakea High School.
Address: 155 W Kawili Street, Hilo. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Kaua‘i

AUG. 24, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
Address: 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihue. 4:30-6:30 p.m.
SEPT. 14, 2016 Board of Education Community Meeting, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School.
Address: 4431 Nuhou Street, Lihue. 5-6:30 p.m.

O‘ahu

AUG. 2, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor
AUG. 10, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Kalani High School.
Address: 4680 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu. 6-8 p.m.
AUG. 16, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor
AUG. 22, 2016 Board of Education community meeting, Kailua High School library.
Address: 451 Ulumanu Drive, Kailua. 5-6:30 p.m. (tentative)
AUG. 31, 2016 Board of Education community meeting, Manoa or Liliha public library.
5-6:30 p.m. (tentative)
SEPT. 6, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor
SEPT. 7, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Castle High School.
Address: 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe. 6-8 p.m.
SEPT. 14, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Moanalua High School.
Address: 2825 Ala Ilima Street, Honolulu. 6-8 p.m.
SEPT. 15, 2016 Board of Education community meeting, Waianae Public Library.
Address: 85-625 Farrington Hwy, Waianae. 5-6:30 p.m.
SEPT. 20, 2016 Board of Education, General Business Meeting, 1390 Miller Street, Boardroom, 4th floor

Maui

AUG. 8, 2016 BOE Community Meeting at the Baldwin High School Library.
Address: 1650 Ka‘ahumanu Hwy, Wailuku.
5-6:30 pm (tentative)
SEPT. 7, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Maui High School.
Address: 660 Lono Avenue, Kahului. 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Moloka‘i

AUG. 27, 2016 Governor’s ESSA Team Town Hall Meeting, Moloka‘i High School.
Address: 2140 Farrington Avenue, Ho’olehua. 1-3 p.m.

 

Aloha First Friday Continues in Hilo

Downtown Hilo’s Aloha First Friday continues on Friday, August 5th with a block party on Kalākaua Street. The free family festivities begin at 5pm with swing dancing on the lānai at East Hawaii Cultural Center.

block party

Performances in Kalākaua Park include Tahitian dancing by Merahi Productions plus live music beginning with Ben Kaili. Following Ben, some of Hilo’s greatest musicians will be jamming together as “JMSW”, which features Marcie Dasalla on lead vocals, Jeff Enriques on bass, Steve Bader on drums, and Wes Matsuda on guitar and keyboards.

In addition to the live music and dancing, there will be a keiki fun zone in the park, with a giant bouncer and other fun keiki activities. Food trucks and street vendors will add to the festival atmosphere. For vendor applications and more info, please visit downtownhilo.com/firstfriday/.

Kona Tax Office Changes Walk-In Service Hours

Effective August 1, 2016, walk-in service hours at the Department of Taxation’s Kona Office will be changed to 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. Telephone calls will continue to be taken from 7:45am to 4:30pm.

tax mission

Due to the small number of staff in the Kona Office, adjusting the walk-in service hours will help the Kona staff provide better overall service to all Kona taxpayers.  Changes to the walk-in service hours are needed to ensure documents received by our Kona Office staff that day can be timely processed.

“We thank the residents of West Hawaii for their flexibility and understanding,” stated Director of Taxation Maria E. Zielinski.

Big Island Restaurant Linked to Hepatitis A Outbreak – Confirmed Cases at 93

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a new case of hepatitis A infection in a food service employee on Hawaii Island.

The employee has a history of exposure on Oahu and worked at the fast food and catering restaurant, Sushi Shiono Waikoloa, located in the Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queen’s MarketPlace at 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive, from July 5 through July 21, 2016 (actual dates: July 5-8, 11-15, and 18-21).

Waikoloa SushiThe department is advising persons who consumed any food products from this store during this period that they may have been exposed to the disease.

The likelihood that patrons of this business will become infected is very low. However, as a precaution, unvaccinated individuals should contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

Since the outbreak began in mid-June, there have been 93 confirmed cases of hepatitis A, 29 of which have required hospitalization. All cases have been in adults who were on Oahu during their exposure periods. DOH continues to investigate and is working to identify the source of infection for this outbreak.

“Preventing exposure from infected food handlers is difficult because patients with hepatitis A are most contagious one to two weeks before symptoms start,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.“ It is possible that other food service establishments will be affected with additional new cases.”

Affected food service establishments who are unable to notify their customers directly are listed on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/. These businesses are not sources of this outbreak. At this time, no infections have been linked to exposure at these businesses; the list is provided to prevent possible new cases. Hawaii State law requires all unvaccinated food handlers (persons who directly prepare, serve, or handle food) who are contacts of confirmed cases be tested for infection and have a negative hepatitis A IgM test before returning to work. A “contact” with the case is defined as unvaccinated household members, unvaccinated sexual contacts, anyone sharing illicit drugs with a case, anyone sharing food or eating or drinking utensils with a case, anyone consuming ready-to-eat foods prepared by an infectious food handler with diarrhea or poor hygiene.

Once an infected food handler has been identified, DOH staff coordinate directly with the owners and managers of the affected food service establishments to ensure their employees are tested before resuming their work.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes.

Individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/hepatitis-a-outbreak-2016/.

For a statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

As Lava Meets the Ocean, New Dangers Persist

The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank remains active. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō entered the ocean, as of as of 1:12 a.m. HST, last night. Areas of incandescence remain visible in overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field, marking lava tube skylights and areas of active lava on the pali and along the flow as it extends towards the coast.

Last night Senator Kahele walked out to the flow.

Last night Senator Kahele walked out to the flow.  That would make “Lava Meets Kai” a reality… LOL!

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry (location where lava meets the sea) for Flow 61G, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water.

Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Lava Flow Crosses Emergency Road and Flows Into Ocean

Flow 61G reached the emergency access road inside Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on July 25 at 3:20 pm and crossed the road in about 30 minutes. At 4:00 pm, the flow front was approximately 110 m (0.07 miles) from the ocean.

hvo 726aThe active lava flow on Kīlauea Volcano’s south flank crossed the emergency access road in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park this afternoon around 3:20 p.m., HST, providing wonderful lava-viewing experiences for Park visitors.

. A section of the road can be seen here, with fume from the active lava tube in the far distance behind it, and the active flow front in the foreground.

A section of the road can be seen here, with fume from the active lava tube in the far distance behind it, and the active flow front in the foreground.

The flow front continued to advance, and was less than 100 meters (yards) from the ocean a few hours later (when this photo was taken).

The lava flow reached the ocean about 01:15 a.m. on  July 26.

The lava flow reached the ocean about 01:15 a.m. on July 26.

Request for Information for Harvest of Timber and Other Forest Resources in the Waiakea Timber Management Area

The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is requesting potential offerors to supply the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) with information to improve the quality of a possible Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Forest Product(s) Land License(s) to harvest and reforest the Waiākea Timber Management Area (WTMA) in accordance with Section 171-54, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes (HRS), as amended. Responses to this RFI are due September 2, 2016 at 3:30PM (HST).

Waiakea Timber

Please find link to the Request for Information (RFI) for the WTMA above and below.

The appendices of the RFI can be downloaded using the following links:

Appendix A. – https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/files/2016/07/2016-04-23-FEA-Waiakea-Timber-Management-Area.pdf

Appendix B. – 1999 Timber Inventory Report of WTMA: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/files/2016/04/Constantinides-1999-A-Timber-Inventory-of-the-Waiakea-Timber-Management-Area.pdf

Additional information can be found on the WTMA website.

Should you have any questions, please contact Philipp LaHaela Walter, State Resource and Survey Forester, at (808) 294-9429 or by email Philipp.LaHaelaWalter@hawaii.gov and/or Jay Hatayama, Forest Management Supervisor II, Hawaiʻi Island, at (808) 974-4387 or by email Jay.M.Hatayama@hawaii.gov.

Ku’uali’i Fishpond Wall Repair and Construction Creates Temporary Closure of Public Parking Lot

In order to replace the rock walls at Ku‘uali‘i fishpond, irreparably damaged during the 2011 tsunami, Waikoloa Beach Association announced a temporary closure of the public parking lot, and a portion of the beach, at ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay. Signs informing beachgoers have been posted on the site.

Waikoloa Wall
The repair project, a complete re-build of the rock wall fronting the fishpond, is set to begin in early August, and its duration is approximately 8-10 weeks. During this time, temporary public beach parking and beach access will be provided at the North Kolea beach parking lot (see map). Parking will be on a first come-first served basis with parking for no more than 46 vehicles available at any one time. No overflow area is provided.

At ‘Anaeho‘omalu, the comfort stations near the showers and canoe hale will be open for beach-goers, and can be accessed from the north end of the beach, via the trail behind the fishpond. For public safety, the ocean side of the fishpond will remain closed during the project. For employees and patrons of Lava Lava Beach Club, controlled access will be provided via the normal Ku‘uali‘i Place beach public access roadway.

Waikoloa Beach Association plans to reopen the large parking lot at Anaeho‘omalu when the repair project is completed.

Blue Jay Wireless to Pay $2Million, Ending Investigation Into Its Tribal Lifeline Reimbursements in Hawaii

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau announced that it has reached a settlement with Blue Jay Wireless to resolve an investigation into whether the company improperly enrolled several thousand Hawaiian customers as eligible for enhanced Tribal support reimbursements from the FCC’s Lifeline program.

blue jay

The Lifeline program provides a discount on phone service so that low-income consumers have access to the communications tools necessary to connect with jobs, family, and emergency services.

Qualifying low-income consumers who reside on Tribal lands, which include Hawaiian Home Lands in the State of Hawaii, are eligible for higher support from the Lifeline program (up to an additional $25 per month).

Under the settlement, Blue Jay will reimburse the Universal Service Fund approximately $2 million and adopt substantial compliance procedures. “The Lifeline program is vital to millions of consumers in cities, rural areas, and tribal lands who rely upon it every day to connect with loved ones, interview for jobs, and contact emergency services,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “This settlement makes clear that no Lifeline provider should turn a blind eye to potential fraud on the program.”

The Enforcement Bureau’s Universal Service Fund Strike Force conducted the investigation of  Blue Jay, which is headquartered in Texas and is eligible to participate in Lifeline in 17 states and Puerto Rico. The investigation found that Blue Jay had incorrectly requested and received Lifeline Tribal reimbursements for enrolled consumers who did not reside on Hawaiian Home Lands.

In 2014, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission staff informed Blue Jay that the number of Tribal consumers it was claiming appeared to exceed the number of households on Hawaiian Home Lands. Despite knowing that Blue Jay could be improperly claiming enhanced Tribal support reimbursements, Blue Jay continued to seek reimbursement for those improper consumers while it sought to gather more accurate information about its Hawaiian Home Lands Tribal consumers.

This settlement ensures a total of $2,002,000 in reimbursements by Blue Jay to the Universal Service Fund, including the company’s forfeiture of $918,010 in Lifeline disbursements that the Commission has already frozen. Blue Jay also will develop and implement a compliance plan to ensure appropriate procedures are incorporated into its business practices to prevent the enrollment of ineligible Tribal consumers, including the use of an approved software tool to identify and verify the accuracy of consumers’ self-certification of their residency on Tribal Lands.

Last year, the Commission sought public comment on whether to require additional evidence of \residency on Tribal lands beyond self-certification and how carriers should provide proof of eligibility to prevent waste, fraud and abuse of enhanced support. More information can be found here: http://go.usa.gov/xcHNT.

This is the second Lifeline enforcement action this year. In April, the Commission announced that it planned to fine Total Call Mobile $51 million for apparently enrolling tens of thousands of ineligible and duplicate consumers in the Lifeline program. A copy of the Total Call Mobile Notice of Apparent Liability can be found here: http://go.usa.gov/xcH5R.

 

Lava Now 0.2 Miles from Ocean

Activity Summary: Eruptive activity continues at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the ocean remains active but poses no threat to nearby communities. As of yesterday, the flow tip was about ~370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to circulate and intermittently spatter. Seismicity and deformation rates throughout the volcano remain at background levels.
hvo 725 g61
Summit Observations: The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater remains active. The depth to the lake was estimated at 26 m (85 ft) below the crater rim, measured on Sunday. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit recorded a slight inflationary tilt. Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. The summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 3,700 to 7,300 metric tons/day.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. There were no significant changes in seismicity over the past 24 hours. The tilt still recovering due to heavy rainfall over the weekend. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents on July 22 was about 500 metric tons/day.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank remains active. On Sunday, the flow tip was active and breakouts were active within a few hundred meters (yards) upslope. The flow was approximately ~240 m (0.15 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean; based on National Park personnel observations. Areas of incandescence remain visible in overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field, marking lava tube skylights and areas of active lava on the pali and along the flow as it extends towards the coast.

Tropical Storm Darby Claims Large Tour Boat Off Kona Coast

The Coast Guard is responding to the grounding of the Spirit of Kona on the island of Hawai’i, Sunday.
Kona Boat
Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, Department of Natural Resources, Hawaii Division of Boating and Recreation, commercial salvors and the owner of the vessel are working to develop a salvage plan.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders received notification Sunday morning from a good Samaritan reporting the 65-foot Spirit of Kona, a commercial passenger vessel, aground on the rocks near the Kailua-Kona Lighthouse.

Kona Boat2

Representatives from Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at Marine Safety Detachment Hawaii, state agencies and commercial salvors have attended the scene to assess the vessel and reported a 120 yard by 53 yard non-recoverable rainbow sheen in the vicinity.

The vessel reportedly has a maximum pollution potential of 600 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, commercial batteries and 19.5 gallons of hydraulic and lube oils. No wildlife was seen in the area or reportedly affected.

The vessel reportedly broke free of its mooring in Kailua Bay as Tropical Storm Darby passed over the region early Sunday. No one was aboard the vessel at the time of the incident. Sector Honolulu watchstanders have issued a broadcast notice to mariners reporting the vessel as a possible hazard to navigation.
Spirit of Kona
As the Spirit of Kona is a commercial vessel, operated by Blue Sea Cruises, the Coast Guard will investigate the cause the of the grounding and work with the owner to address repairs and operating requirements once salvaged. A notice of federal interest has been issued.

Tropical Storm Darby continues to impact the Main Hawaiian Islands Sunday. Commercial ports on Hawaii, Maui, Molokai and Oahu are closed. The Coast Guard encourages boat owners to take precautions with regard to their vessels by moving them to protected areas, doubling up lines and taking them out of the water as applicable.

Darby continues to move west northwest. Localized damaging winds of 30 to 40 mph can be expected, along with gusts of 50 to 60 mph or greater. Surf along east facing shores of Maui will be 8 to 12 feet. Surf along east facing shores of Kauai, Oahu, and Molokai will be 6 to 10 feet. Passing rainbands will bring periods of showers. There is a chance for intense downpours or thunderstorms to develop near Maui county, then spread to Oahu and Kauai later today. Additional rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with local amounts up to 15 inches are expected with tropical storm Darby.

Hawaii Electric Light Restores Power to 900 Customers After Tropical Storm Darby

Overnight, Hawaii Electric Light restored electric service to 900 customers in various parts of Hamakua, upper Puna, and Kona that were impacted by high winds from Tropical Storm Darby. About 100 customers in Hawaiian Paradise Park, Leilani Estates, Kapoho, Orchidland Estates, Honokaa, and Kailua-Kona remain without power.

 Hawaii Electric Light crews work to restore electric service in Hawaiian Paradise Park.


Hawaii Electric Light crews work to restore electric service in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Crews worked through the night to repair damage to utility poles and power lines that was caused primarily by fallen trees, tree branches, and tree bark contacting power lines.

“Many of our employees have been working around the clock since Friday to prepare for the storm and to then safely restore electric service as quickly as possible,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, public information officer. “We know how difficult it is to be without electricity for a long period of time, and we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”

Hawaii Electric Light expects to restore service to the remaining 100 customers tonight. However, it cautions that although the eye of the storm has passed over Hawaii Island, the weather forecast reports thunderstorms and heavy rain approaching the east side of the island. Lightning and moisture-soaked trees can make work conditions unsafe for crews. This may delay restoration efforts in areas impacted by the thunderstorms. Crews will continue to work to restore power to customers unless weather conditions become hazardous and unsafe.

The company also reminds the community that high winds and heavy rains may have partially-uprooted trees and cracked tree branches that can easily topple or break. Do not approach or touch a downed line as it can be energized and dangerous.

To report an outage, a low-hanging or downed power line, please call 969-6666. Hawaii Electric Light continues to proactively post outage notifications, including power restoration updates, on its Twitter account @HIElectricLight with the hashtag #BigIslandOutage.

Facebook Using Safety Check Feature for Tropical Storm Darby

Well I have heard of the Facebook “Safety Check” feature that happens on Facebook when natural disasters happen or major things like terrorist attacks.

Never in my mind did I think I would ever have it pop up on my Facebook timeline, but tonight it did!
Facebook Safety CheckI marked myself “safe” of course.  I could have marked some of my friends that I know are safe as well… but I figure I’ll let them do that so they get the opportunity to use the new feature themselves.

Darby Almost Done on the Big Island – Steady Weakening Anticipated

Tropical Storm Darby is beginning to move past the Big Island of Hawaii.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

Darby 723 5pm track

The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew through Darby for a good portion of the day, and departed the storm just before the poorly-defined center came ashore over the southeastern portion of the Big Island near Pahala around 2 pm.  The center is estimated to be traversing the southern slopes of the Big Island at this time.

Surface pressures were rising each time the plane sampled the system, and flight-level winds indicated that Darby’s intensity had weakened to near 35 kt, and that is the initial intensity for this advisory.  Another reconnaissance flight is scheduled for early Sunday morning to determine what remains of Darby’s circulation after it emerges from the Big Island.

The initial motion is estimated to be 275/09 kt, with the poorly-defined center of Darby currently estimated to be over interior portions of the Big Island.  After emerging from the Big Island later this evening, a turn toward the northwest is expected, with Darby moving toward the northwest through the remainder of the forecast period.

Darby is still expected to move into a weakness in the mid-level ridge to its north over the next 24 hours, as a deep-layer low remains nearly stationary far north of the Hawaiian Islands.

While the spread in the track guidance has increased slightly from the previous cycle, it continues to indicate a steady northwest motion.  The updated track forecast is close to the previous and the multi-model consensus TVCN.

As the center of Darby is currently over the Big Island, there is considerable uncertainty as to what will remain of the low-level circulation once it moves back over water later this evening.  The intensity forecast is conservatively maintaining Darby as a minimal tropical storm through 24 hours until it is clear that re-development will not occur.

Thereafter, steady weakening is anticipated, as increasing shear and gradually cooling waters lie along the forecast track.  The updated forecast indicates weakening to a remnant low in 72 hours, with dissipation expected by the end of the forecast period.  This is a slower rate of weakening than depicted by global models through the first 24 hours, and the intensity consensus, IVCN, but closely follows IVCN thereafter.

If Darby’s circulation does not survive its interaction with the Big Island’s rugged terrain, than dissipation will likely occur much sooner.

New Thermal Image Map Shows Where Lava is Active

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal map shows minimal activity on the upper pali, with a channelized ʻaʻā flow at the base of the pali. The flow front area had scattered pāhoehoe breakouts, with a narrow lobe of active lava forming the leading tip of the flow. The leading tip of the flow was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

Sluggish Lava Breakouts Advance Slowly on Coastal Plain

The flow front remains active and consists of slowly advancing pāhoehoe. There are scattered breakouts along the margins of the flow on the coastal plain and base of the pali.

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During the overflight yesterday, the flow front was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning.  Pictures were taken as part of a site visit to the G61 flow front on July 22, 2016.   The flow was about 615m from the road and 760 m from the ocean. (Click to enlarge)

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning. Pictures were taken as part of a site visit to the G61 flow front on July 22, 2016.
The flow was about 615m from the road and 760 m from the ocean. (Click to enlarge)

During early morning field observations, a large breakout of lava near the base of Pūlama Pali (steep fault scarp in background) was visible through fumes from the lava tube and heat shimmer from lava on the coastal plain.

The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea's active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali. (Click to enlarge)

The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea’s active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali. (Click to enlarge)

A breakout at the base of the pali viewed by a field crew this morning has formed a channelized ʻaʻā flow on the steeper portion of the coastal plain.

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A close up view of the ʻaʻā channel.

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Civil Defense Update on Tropical Storm Darby

This is a Civil Defense message.

This is a Tropical Storm Darby update as of Saturday July 23rd 11 AM.

Darby Sat 723 1244

The flash flood warning for the Big Island has been downgraded to a flood advisory.  A flood advisory means minor, general or area flooding is occurring, imminent or highly likely in flood prone areas. The High Surf Warning for east facing shores and a Tropical Storm Warning for the entire island remains in effect for Hawaii County.

As of 11 AM today, Tropical Storm Darby is located about 60 miles south-southeast of Hilo moving to the west at 10 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are 45 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Rain and wind from Tropical Storm Darby are affecting the Big Island. Residents are urged to stay off the road if at all possible.

Should power be lost or access be blocked-ensure you have prescription medications, ice, water, oxygen, backup power and fuel if needed.

To keep everyone safe, all State and County park facilities and remote areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are closed until further notice.

Hele-On Bus service is suspended today. Solid waste transfer stations and landfills are closed today.

Umauma Bridge on Highway 19 remains closed with a detour through Old Mamalahoa Highway.

For a list of County Emergency Shelters and the details of this message, go to hawaiicounty.gov

Monitor your local radio broadcasts for information updates.

~ Hawaii County Civil Defense