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Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.

New Portable Testing Tool Speeds Detection of Suspected Rapid `Ōhi`a Death Pathogens

Researchers have developed a new, more efficient tool for detecting the pathogens believed to be the cause of Rapid `Ōhi`a Death (ROD), according to a recently published study by the Hawaiʻi Cooperative Studies Unit at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, the USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Center (PIERC), and USDA Agriculture Research Service (ARS).
The authors of the report have developed a portable lab for diagnostic field testing for the two species of fungal pathogens that infect `ōhi`a (Metrosideros polymorpha). The portable lab, which provides quick results and reduces instrumentation costs, is currently being used by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) to detect infected trees and identify the distribution of the pathogens.

“Having this portable lab gives us the capability to do our own diagnostics and get a quicker answer about whether or not a tree is positive for ROD. The result then allows us to take management actions right away or do more targeted testing,” said Bill Buckley, Forest Response coordinator for BIISC and leader of their ROD Early Detection and Rapid Response Team.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture is also planning to use the portable lab to help screen shipments of `ōhi`a logs for the pathogens.

ROD was first identified in the lower Puna District in 2014, and now infects more than 50,000 acres of private and state forest lands on Hawaiʻi Island. ROD is a serious threat and imperils long-term sustainability of watersheds managed by Department of Interior agencies, the State of Hawaiʻi, and State Watershed Partnerships.

For more information on the study and its findings, visit https://dspace.lib.hawaii.edu/handle/10790/3025.

New Lava Flow Maps Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of April 10 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of May 3 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). (Click to Enlarge)

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 April 10 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of May 3 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 Residents Catch Rat Lungworm – Residents Consumed Drink Tainted by Slug

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today confirmed two new cases of individuals with rat lungworm illness on Hawaii Island. In addition, four related cases are considered highly probable based on clinical indications, a common discrete exposure, and symptoms consistent with the illness. All six cases are adults who were hospitalized and their illnesses reported to the department over the past weekend.

The adults became infected with the parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis at a home in Keaau on Hawaii Island a few weeks after drinking homemade kava which they had left out in uncovered buckets after preparing the drink at the home. The kava was poured into a large bowl and after consuming most of the contents, the individuals noticed a slug at the bottom of the bowl. The department’s investigation determined the source of the infections was likely the homemade kava tainted by slugs.

“The department is continuing to monitor this serious illness spread to individuals by infected slugs and snails,” said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Cases like this recent cluster are especially concerning because they can be prevented with basic precautions such as storing food in covered containers and properly inspecting and washing food before eating. These healthy habits can protect against food contamination and prevent serious illnesses.”

With the addition of the two illnesses confirmed today, there have been a total of 11 confirmed cases of rat lungworm infection this year in the state.

Earlier this year, four Maui resident cases, two non-resident cases who were visitors to Maui, and three Hawaii Island resident cases were confirmed. The two cases confirmed today were Hawaii Island residents and of the four probable cases, three were Hawaii Island residents and one was a resident of Maui who traveled to Hawaii Island.

The Hawaii Department of Health advises everyone to carefully store, inspect and wash produce, especially leafy greens. Always store food in covered containers, wash all produce thoroughly and supervise young children playing outdoors to prevent them from putting snails or slugs into their mouths. Controlling snail, slug, and rat populations is one of the most important steps in fighting the spread of rat lungworm disease. Take precautions to control slugs, snails, and rats around properties, and especially around home gardens. Farmers as well as food handlers and processors should increase diligence in controlling slugs, snails, and rats on the farm.

The Department of Health’s Food Safety Program continues to inspect and educate food establishments statewide on safe food handling and preparation to prevent contamination and food borne illness. Food establishments statewide are reminded to use only approved and licensed sources and carefully inspect and wash all produce during food preparation.

The most common symptoms of angiostrongyliasis or rat lungworm include severe headache and neck stiffness, but symptoms may vary widely among cases. Seek medical attention for headache, fever, stiff neck, tingling or painful feelings in the skin or extremities. The most serious cases experience neurological problems, pain and severe disability. Healthcare providers should monitor and support patients’ symptoms, and report any persons they suspect may be infected. More information on the signs and symptoms of rat lungworm infection are at: http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2015/07/angio-fact-sheet-20150716.pdf

Horror Movie Filmed in Puna Now Available Online – “Green Lake”

An award winning film that was filmed at “Green Lake” in the Puna District of the Big Island of Hawaii is now available online:

(Release) Industry hasn’t destroyed all the sacred spaces in the world. In Hawai’i pockets of magic still exist. And so do those that protect them.

GREEN LAKE draws inspiration not only from the beauty and mysticism of Hawaii, but also from B-horror/monster movies, The Twilight Zone and The X-Files. It’s a micro-budget Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Picnic at Hanging Rock.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT – Derek Frey
I am fascinated with the supernatural aspect to Hawai’i and the tales found in Glen Grant’s Obake Files. I also love horror films and in 2010 created a short on the Big Island: The Curse of the Sacred Stone. It was a horror/comedy that lightly depicted the implications of disturbing sacred land when an unsuspecting tourist removes a lava rock from a sacred site.

I still felt the impulse to create more of a straightforward horror film on the Big Island. Since my first visit to Hawai’i in 2001, I had heard about Green Lake, an unspoiled fresh body of water located in a crater within a mountainous rainforest in Kapoho. Green Lake is the larger of only two lakes in Hawaii. Allegedly Jacques Cousteau conducted a diving expedition in the 1970’s and couldn’t find the bottom. We don’t know if this is true, but one thing is certain, the towering walls of the crater make the lake seem bottomless. Discussion of Green Lake is almost one of urban legend. The fact is many people who live in Hawai’i have never visited the lake, though the land manager is very inviting and enthusiastic about the lake and its surrounding land.

My first visit to Green Lake, a few years ago, was incredibly inspiring. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Accompanying that beauty is a deep and powerful mystical vibe. This place demands that you respect it and it feels like there are protective energies present. During that initial visit a group of us ventured onto the lake via a small paddleboat and our first jump into the water was met with excitement, exhilaration and downright fear. The water is dark and though we know there are no snakes or other predators to fear in Hawai’i it certainly feels as though something lurks below.

From that visit the seed for a film was firmly established and I returned the next year with the Green Lake script in hand. Thus began a grueling 9 day shoot, pulling upon friends from the Big Island I’ve made over the years to play the roles and double as crew. Our core group of 6 played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera, weathering the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Green Lake was my mini-Apocalypse Now. It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result. Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the consequences.

A special mention must be expressed to the wonderful music that accompanies the film. Big Island bands Technical Difficulties and Delight Talkies provide songs written specifically for the film. Matthew Reid’s terrific original score is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Enjoy the swim and remember “Horror Dwells Deep”!

GREEN LAKE – Directed by Derek Frey (HD) from Derek Frey on Vimeo.

-FESTIVALS

American Grindhouse Film Festival
Best Cult Creature

Big Island Film Festival

Bloodstained Indie Film Festival

Crimson Screen Film Festival
Nom: Best Short, Director

Dazed 4 Horror
Best Short

Best Shorts Competition
Merit Award

Diabolical Horror Film Festival

F.A.S.H.
Nom: Best Short

FEARnyc

Fright Night Film Festival

Grindhouse Planet Film Festival

Harrisburg-Hershey Film Festival

Hollywood & Beyond Film Festival
Best Short Film

Hollywood Horror Fest

Hollywood Intl Moving Pictures Film Festival
Best Director, Short, Score, Editing, Sound
Nom: Song

Honolulu Film Awards
Gold Kahuna Award: Best Short

Horror Hotel Film Festival
Honorable Mention

Hot Springs Intl Horror Film Festival

IndieFEST
Best Short, Score, Sound, Editing, Leading Actress, Song, Makeup, Cinematography

The Indie Horror Film Festival

Lake View Intl Film Festival
Best Director

LA Shorts Awards
Best of the Fest, Director, Cinematography, Actress, Makeup, Screenplay, Lighting

LA CineFest
Best Poster
Nom: Best Score, Song

LA Horror Comp.
Best Short, Director, Score, Actress, Lighting, Cinematography

LA Independent Film Festival Awards
Best Horror, Original Song

Motor City Nightmares Intl Film Festival

NEPA Horror Film Festival

NYC Indie Film Awards
Best Short, Director, Actress, Cinematography, Score, Editing

Prague Independent Film Festival
Best Score
Nom: Best Short, Horror

RIP Horror Film Festival
Nom: Best Short, Cinematography, Score

Roswell Film Festival
Nom: Best Cinematography

Russian Intl Horror Film Awards

Scare-A-Con Film Festival

Shiver Intl Film Festival
Best Cult/Weird/Experimental Film, Creature

Spotlight Horror Film Awards
Gold Award

StarGate Galactic Intl Sci-Fi Fantasy & Horror Film Festival

Swapping Dead Film Festival

Taupo Halloween Film Festival

Terror Film Festival
Best Cinematography
Nom: Score, Editing, Screenplay

United Intl Film Festival
Award of Merit

Aerial Show Coming to Hilo for First Time Ever

For the first time, an aerial show is coming to Hilo town! “Take Flight: An Evening of Aerial” will show for one-night only at the historic Hilo Palace Theater on Friday, May 12. Produced by Mirabilia Aerial Co. and Puna Aerialists, the 90-minute show features 10 artists performing 15 different acts on aerial silks, lyra, rope, hammock, and pole.
The show spotlights an international lineup with artists from Columbia, Germany, Italy and Sweden, as well as several Big Island-born aerialists. While the Palace Theater has featured singular aerial acts at various events in the past, never before has it housed an aerial-only show.

“Our aerial group has been dreaming of doing a show at the Palace Theater for over four years, and we’re very excited it’s finally happening,” says show producer Zoe Eisenberg, who is co-producing the event alongside Bella O’Toole, an aerial instructor who teaches aerial classes twice a week at Pacific Gymnastics’ facility in Hilo.

This is not the first show put on by Eisenberg and O’Toole. The pair, who will appear in a duo lyra act, produced a 2015 show at Kalani Retreat Center in Kalapana.

“We encourage all our artists to choreograph their own routines, which inspires more creativity and diversity in the show,” explains O’Toole, founder of Mirabilia Aerial Co. Acts will range in emotion from dramatic to soulful and even comedic.

The show is being sponsored by Hawaii’s Volcano Circus. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at https://takeflightaerial.eventbrite.com/ now, or at the Hilo Palace Box Office beginning April 21st.

More information can be found at the show’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1823075377718360/

For information on aerial classes in Hilo, visit bellaotoole.com.

Hawaii Island Police Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Puna

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred around 10 p.m. Wednesday (March 29) in Puna.
While responding to a request for assistance at a convenience store parking lot in Kurtistown, an officer observed a vehicle to strike a man who dropped toward the ground and disappeared from the officer’s view.

As the vehicle fled the scene, the officer was still unable to identify the location of the man who had been struck and felt the man’s life may have been in danger.In the process of fleeing, the suspect vehicle also struck the officer’s vehicle.

In response to the imminent danger, the officer fired two shots toward the vehicle which continued onto Highway 11 heading South in the Volcano direction. The vehicle was later located abandoned in the Glenwood area.

The male victim who had been struck by the suspect vehicle was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

The officer who fired his weapon has just less than two years of law enforcement experience.  Police have initiated a second degree assault investigation, as well as accompanying traffic related violations.

As is standard practice in any police shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident or has information about it to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide 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 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.