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New Lava Flow Map Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of February 24 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of March 16 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Three Folks Charged with Numerous Offenses Stemming From Puna Kidnapping Incident

Two men and a woman from Puna were charged Thursday (March 16) with numerous offenses stemming from a kidnapping incident that occurred earlier in the week in upper Puna.

On Monday (March 13), South Hilo patrol officers responded to the Hilo Medical Center where a female victim reported that she and her three children were held against their will for several days at a residence in the Mountain View area before escaping to another residence where medics were summoned and they were eventually transported to the Hilo Medical Center.

The 25-year-old female victim reported that she and her three children, ages six, four and eight were held for several days against their will in a shed in the Mountain View area. The female victim identified her estranged boyfriend and father of the children as well as two additional parties (one male and one female) as the suspects in this case. The victims were treated and released for minor injuries sustained during the ordeal.

Detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division’s Juvenile Aid Section took over the investigation and arrested three suspects.

Israel Allen Chapson

Yesterday (March 16) at 2:30 p.m., 30-year-old Israel Allen Chapson was charged with four counts of kidnapping, two counts of felony abuse of a family/household member, two counts of third degree promoting a dangerous drug, one count of prohibited acts related to drug paraphernalia and one count of third degree promoting a detrimental drug. His bail has been set at $251,000.

Chevy Iaukea

Also charged yesterday related to this same incident was 29-year-old Chevy Iaukea and 29-year-old Joseph Soares.

Joseph Soares

Each were charged with four counts of kidnapping. They are both being held in lieu of $200,000 bail. All three suspects reside in Mountain view and are currently being held at the Hilo cellblock pending their initial court appearance set for this afternoon in Hilo District Court.

Police ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

New Satellite Image of Lava Flow Released

This satellite image was captured on Wednesday, March 8, by the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The image shows that breakouts continue in several areas on the flow field. The largest breakout is about 2 km (1.2 miles) southeast of the vent. Smaller breakouts are present above and on the pali. Near the base of the pali, on the coastal plain, a small breakout is active. A thermal anomaly is also present at the Kamokuna ocean entry.

Updated Lava Flow Map

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of February 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 24 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Man Arrested in Pahoa With *UPDATE* (Alleged) Dynamite

Yesterday evening around 5:45 in Pahoa, a man sitting on the wall near Paul’s Gas Station was arrested and among the items found in his possession was allegedly a stick of dynamite.

An officer at the top of the picture photographing the alleged explosive device.

I asked on the Recover Pahoa Facebook Page if anyone could confirm if it was dynamite and the following was reported:

Yes the police/bomb squad detonated it around 2 this morning According to the security in Luquin parking

Here is another picture of the incident:

It is unknown at this time what he was arrested for and the Hawaii Police Department has not released a media report on this incident as of this posting.

UPDATE: I received the following report:One of the guys who had to close off the area said the ATF actually detonated the home made device under the steel shroud and it did give off a small bang.

Puna Patrol Officer Named East Hawaii Officer of the Month Following Actions at Luquin’s Fire

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Puna Patrol Officer Conrad Bidal on Thursday (February 23) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for February.

Hilo Exchange Club board member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Conrad Bidal.

Bidal, who has less than a year of service with the Police Department, was honored for what Sergeant William Derr described as his “extreme courage” while evacuating occupants of apartments above Luquin’s restaurant during a midnight fire that destroyed the structure.

Noticing lights on the second floor of the building after the fire was in progress, Bidal went inside and conducted a search for occupants. He found four people and evacuated them. When he went back to make sure no one else was inside, the occupants returned to retrieve personal belongings. As Bidal completed the task of evacuating them a second time, the building became fully engulfed in flames.

“Officer Bidal’s heroic efforts and personal disregard of his own welfare insured the safety of these four people,” Derr wrote in nomination papers. “The loss of Pāhoa landmarks Akebono Theater and Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant could have been much more tragic had it not been for Officer Bidal’s intervention.”

Bidal was also recognized for his work in solving a burglary while he was a recruit working with a field training officer. In that investigation, Bidal obtained fingerprints from the burglary scene that matched a suspect later discovered in surveillance video footage.

“Officer Bidal’s courage, work ethic, and exemplary application of forensic skill so early in his career are to be applauded,” Derr wrote. “He is a prime example of how we hope all our police officers start their careers, hitting the ground running.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Bidal is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Puna Town Hall Meeting

Representative San Buenaventura and Senator Ruderman will host a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, February 27, 2017 starting at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be at the Pahoa Community Center. Both the Representative and the Senator will discuss bills and issues for the 29th Legislative Session.

Folks outside a meeting at the Pahoa Community Center

The Town Hall Meeting will provide updates to what bills, both new and old, along with other issues that have arisen for this session. Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and share new ideas with both legislators during the meeting. All are welcome to attend.

Who:   Representative Joy San Buenaventura and Senator Russell Ruderman

What:  Town Hall Meeting to discuss 2017 Legislative Session Bills & Issues

Where: Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road Pahoa, HI, 96778

When:  Monday, February 27, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

New Breakout of Lava Mapped

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of January 12 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 16 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line marks the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).

At Puʻu ʻŌʻō, surface flows are occurring within about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) of the 61g vent and on the coastal plain. These flows pose no threat to nearby communities at this time.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field as of January 12 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 16 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Hawaii Civil Defense Lava Flow Update

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports the active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the East Rift Zone is entering the ocean at Kamokuna located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Additional surface flows are active near Puʻu ʻŌʻō and more recently moving beyond the National Park eastern boundary onto private property near the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Bright incandescence is visible from the active lava flow field, and the lava flow does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

To maintain public safety and to extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i opened the emergency road to lava viewing since June 30, 2016. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road is limited to local residents and emergency vehicles, and is being monitored by security guards posted along the viewing area. The road is unpaved and surrounded on all sides by rough lava flows on private property. Public access is restricted to the graded roadway and viewers are asked to please respect private property and the rights of local residents.

The “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The viewing area is 800 meters (about one-half mile) from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow. HVO Photo

Visitors need to be aware of the following reminders:

  • Viewing area hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, with the last car allowed to park at 9:00 p.m.
  • It is about 8.5 miles round-trip from end of the pavement on Highway 130 to the ocean entry at Kamokuna and back. The flow can be seen starting from just beyond the parking lot all along the viewing area route.
  • Restroom facilities are limited and lack running water.
  • All members of your party should dress appropriately with boots or sturdy, covered shoes, long pants and a hat.
  • Be prepared for rain, wind, sun, heat and dust exposure.
  • Bring lots of water (1-2 liters per person), there is no potable water available.
  • Bring a flashlight for walking at night.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protect the interests of Kalapana residents, and extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua (help).

Coast Guard Responds to Increase in Illegal Lava Boat Charters on Big Island

In the last 24 hours, the Coast Guard has identified two tour boats operating illegally out of Pohoiki Boat Ramp and is ramping up enforcement in response to a perceived increase in illegal charters operating in the area to view lava streaming into the ocean from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano.

The “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The viewing area is 800 meters (about one-half mile) from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow.

“Safety is always our top priority,” said Capt. David McClellan, chief of prevention, Coast Guard 14th District. “For boat operators, it is important to maintain situational awareness and not unnecessarily put yourself, your passengers or your boat in danger. For visitors, it’s important they check that their hired boat operators are licensed ensuring they possess the experience and training required to get them to the viewing area and back safely.”

Commercial tour boat and charter operators must possess the appropriate merchant mariner credential to operate. Masters of commercial charters operating in state waters are also required by the State of Hawaii to have a permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and to keep that permit on the vessel.

For vessels carrying six or fewer passengers for hire, the operator must possess a Coast Guard-issued operator of uninspected passenger vessel license and operate on near coastal waters not more than 100 miles offshore, as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101 (42)(B).

For vessels carrying seven or more passengers for hire on vessels less than 100 gross tons (not including auxiliary sail), the operator must possess a Coast Guard-issued master of self-propelled vessel license to operate on near coastal waters. The vessel must also have a Coast Guard-issued certificate of inspection posted in a visible location.

According to the National Park Service, the spot where lava meets the ocean is referred to as the “bench.” It is one of the most dangerous areas of the park because it could potentially collapse, sending dangerous projectiles into the air. The steam emitted where lava meets the water contains hydrochloric acid and glass particles. Tour boat operators are urged to maintain a safe distance from both to ensure their safety as well as that of their passengers.

More on information regarding licensing for charter boat captains can be found at: https://www.uscg.mil/nmc/credentials/charter_boat_capt/default.asp.

Partial Road Closure of Highway 130 (Hilo Bound Lane) Next Week

Hawaii Electric Light announces the partial closure of the Hilo-bound lanes on Keaau-Pahoa Road from Monday, Feb. 6, to Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

The makai side of the road, about 1,000 feet before Shower Drive, will be closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Pahoa-bound lanes on the mauka side of the road will be open for two-way traffic flow. Traffic control officers will be on site. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and plan for delays.

This week, Hawaii Electric Light crews installed four hurricane-class transmission poles ranging from 75-90 feet and weighing up to six tons. Next week, crews will complete the transfer of power lines and equipment from the existing poles to the new poles. The completion will allow the state of Hawaii to install traffic signals at the intersection of Keaau-Pahoa Road and Shower Drive as part of its road widening improvement project.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Ground Crack at Kīlauea Ocean Entry is Cause for Concern

Due to the instability of the sea cliff above the ocean entry and other hazards created by molten lava flowing into the sea, Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has established a viewing area (noted by yellow arrow in photo) from which the ocean entry can be seen in relative safety.

A thermal image taken during HVO’s overflight of Kīlauea Volcano’s ocean entry on Jan. 25, 2017, revealed a hot ground crack in the sea cliff just above where lava is flowing into the sea.

Because the crack suggested an unstable sea cliff, HVO geologists briefly visited the site on foot for closer observations and measurements this past weekend.

Carefully approaching the site in protective gear on Jan. 28, HVO geologists determined that the eastern end of the hot crack was about 30 cm (11.8 in) wide and deeply cut into recent lava atop the older sea cliff.

The western end could not be accessed due to poor air quality, spatter fallout, and other safety concerns. This crack could be a precursor to collapse of an unstable section of the sea cliff, making the site extremely dangerous for anyone who ventures too closely to the ocean entry by land or by sea.

Using a thermal image of the crack above Kīlauea volcano’s ocean entry (steam from lava flowing into the sea is visible at the top of the left photo), HVO geologists determined that the temperature within the eastern end of the crack is up to about 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit).

At Kīlauea’s ocean entry on Jan. 28 and 29, the interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater caused pulsating littoral explosions that threw spatter (fragments of molten lava) high into the air.

During one exceptionally large burst, spatter was thrown about twice the height of the sea cliff. These ocean entry littoral explosions, both large and small, create hazardous conditions on land and at sea.

Some of these incandescent clasts fell on top of the sea cliff behind the ocean entry, forming a small spatter cone.

Hawaii Fire Department Press Release on Pahoa Town Fire

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 1116

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: Smoke and fire coming from the back of Luquins building, adjacent to Akebono Theater. Smoke coming from the windows of Luquins buildings on the Pahoa Village Road side.

Cause: UNDER INVESTIGATION

Remarks: 3 commercial properties, including historic Akebono theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial building from 1938 and a large multiuse residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s restaurant, built in 1907. Fire was brought under control and an extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued until the time of this press release.

Hawaii Civil Defense Message on Pahoa Village Road Closure

Hawaii Police Department reports Pahoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through tomorrow afternoon.

Area residents should expect to smell smoke tonight.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department will remain on scene through the night to monitor any flare ups that may occur.

Thank you. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

Update Map of Lava Flow Field

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of December 14 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of January 12 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. Surface flows are focused on a branch of the flow east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that has been active since late last year. The front of that flow branch has stalled, but there are weak scattered breakouts upslope along its length.

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Disregard the area around the Kamokuna ocean entry, where the Kamokuna lava delta collapsed on New Year’s Eve. The lava flow polygons in these maps are layered to show additions to flow. As such, they do not show where material has been removed, such as by lava delta collapse.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

November Lava Breakout Remains Active and Kamokuna Ocean Entry Continues

The November 21 breakout from the episode 61g lava flow remains active.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the upper left of the photo.

The tip is 2.4 km (1.5 mi) straight-line from the vent, and the furthest active lava is roughly 600 m (660 yd) back from the tip. The breakout, extending to the lower right of the image, can be identified by its light silver color.

The Kamokuna ocean entry remains active. On December 31, approximately 21 acres of delta collapsed into the ocean. The remaining ~2.5 acres can be seen at the base of the sea cliff in long narrow sections. On the lower right of the photo, a scarp is visible where a portion of the old sea cliff collapsed.

Degassing from the 61g lava tube is visible from the ocean entry to the upper right of the photo, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible in the top middle of the photo.

A close up view of where approximately 4 acres of old sea cliff fell into the ocean during the delta collapse on December 31.

The far eastern end of this collapse (right), is where the old public viewing area was located prior to the collapse.

On the left is a normal photograph of the ocean entry, which produces a robust steam plume and an area of discolored water extending out from the entry point.

The thermal image on the right shows how this area of discolored water corresponds to scalding water temperatures.

Another view of the ocean entry, with the plume of hot water extending out from the ocean entry point.

October 1993 Eruption of Kilauea

Eruption of Kilauea Volcano in October 1993:

3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island

UPDATE: The earthquake was upgraded to a 3.8 magnitude quake.

A 3.7 3.8 magnitude earthquake just shook the Volcano area of the Big Island of Hawaii:

Magnitudeuncertainty 3.8 ml± 0.3
Locationuncertainty 19.299°N 155.210°W± 0.3 km
Depthuncertainty 9.5 km± 0.3
Origin Time
Number of Stations 60
Number of Phases 92
Minimum Distance 2.4 km (0.02°)
Travel Time Residual 0.26 s
Azimuthal Gap 119°
FE Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII (613)

New Map of 61G Lava Flow Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of November 29 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of December 14, based on satellite imagery, is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 28-Year-Old Keaau Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 28-year-old Keaʻau woman who was reported missing.

Crystal Lynn Cabanatan

Crystal Lynn Cabanatan was last seen on November 24 in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Keaʻau.

She is described as a “local female,” 5-foot-4, 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Cabanatan is also wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for failure to appear.

Police ask anyone with any information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.