Big Island Residents Lose Electricity on Christmas Eve

This evening on the Big Island of Hawaii, residents across the island reported that they had lost electricity for a time tonight.  From Puna to Kona the outages were reported.

Hawaiian Electric Companies is currently investigating the power failure but has tentatively classified this as a “frequency trip on the system”.
HELCO Response 3When they have determined the exact cause of the island-wide outage I will update this post.

Lava Map Shows Flow Less then Half Mile From Major Highway

This new map of the Puna lava flow shows just how wide this flow is starting to spread with a lot of new breakouts happening in the last 48 hours.

1222map From HVO:
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow this afternoon and mapped its leading edge. At the time of the flight, the tip of the flow was stalled about 0.7 km (0.4 miles) from the Pahoa Marketplace, measured in a straight line, but lava was active in several places immediately behind the front. One or more of these other active lobes could overtake the stalled front in the coming hours to days, or the stalled front could reactivate. Numerous breakouts were also active along the flow in an area extending from 1 to 3 km (0.6 to 2 miles) upslope from the front of the flow, in the ground crack area near the True/Mid-Pacific well pad, and about 3 km (2 miles) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Lava Flow Stalls – New Breakouts Near Geothermal Well Pad

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow this afternoon and mapped its leading edge. At the time of the flight, the tip of the flow was stalled about 0.7 km (0.4 miles) from the Pahoa Marketplace, measured in a straight line, but lava was active in several places immediately behind the front.

A small, but fairly vigorous, breakout was active this afternoon about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the tip of the flow. (click to enlarge)

A small, but fairly vigorous, breakout was active this afternoon about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the tip of the flow. (click to enlarge)

One or more of these other active lobes could overtake the stalled front in the coming hours to days, or the stalled front could reactivate. Numerous breakouts were also active along the flow in an area extending from 1 to 3 km (0.6 to 2 miles) upslope from the front of the flow, in the ground crack area near the True/Mid-Pacific well pad, and about 3 km (2 miles) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Daily updates about Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Lava Flow Approaches Fire Break – Remains Active

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow remains active upslope from the Pahoa Marketplace area, visible at upper left, though activity has waned over the past week.

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Click to Enlarge

The flow was very close to a firebreak road cut several months ago. The Pahoa Transfer Station is at upper right. The view is to the southeast.

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Click to enlarge

This compares a normal photograph of the active flow front with a thermal image. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. In the thermal image, white and yellow pixels show areas of active breakouts. The thermal image shows that small breakouts are present near the leading tip of the flow, and that many other breakouts are active upslope.

Full Video – Kilauea Mountain of Fire

Kilauea, on Hawaii’s Big Island, is the world’s most active volcano. Its latest eruption began in 1983 and it hasn’t stopped since.
kilauea video
Since that time it has created 544 acres of new land and has consumed 200 homes. But as we watch nature’s own fireworks display and witness the devastation wrought by flowing lava, we’ve also been able to observe a process that’s central to life on these islands.

The most spectacular moment of creation is when lava pours into the ocean creating new land, and it is here that filmmaker Paul Atkins finds himself getting a shot few have ever filmed — the cataclysmic meeting of 2,000-degree lava and 75-degree ocean water — a sight to behold.

Department of Health Operating Air Monitoring Stations in Response to Lava Flow Activities

The State of Hawaii Department of Health is currently operating three (3) air monitoring stations in the Pahoa and Leilani estates area in response to the current and ongoing eruption and lava flow activities.  These monitors detect the presence of air borne particles that may result from the burning materials (vegetation , grass, brush, and other materials).

air quality guide

The data and information being collected by these monitors can be viewed at the following web site:  http://emdweb.doh.hawaii.gov/air-quality/ , click on “Quick Look” then go to “Puna Special Sites”.

 

Eruption and Lava Flow Update

This is an eruption and lava flow update for Friday December 5th at 8:00 AM.

This morning’s assessment shows that the flow front continues to show signs of advancement however has slowed. The active flow front remains approximately 2.4 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection. The flow had advanced approximately 145 yards since yesterday.
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Current activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory personnel are maintaining close observations of flow activity. Residents down slope will be kept informed of any changes in flow activity, advancement, and status.

Smoke conditions were moderate this morning in the immediate area with a light north wind blowing the smoke in a south southeast direction. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take precautions and to remain indoors.

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The Pahoa Village Road remains open to all traffic and motorists are advised to exercise caution as some utility pole protection material remains in place. Everyone is asked to please respect the residents of the area who were affected by the lava flow and to not trespass on private property.

Once again we would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Second Supplementary Proclamation Pertaining to State of Emergency in Puna Issued Today

A second supplementary proclamation pertaining to the declared state of emergency in Puna was issued today by Mayor Billy Kenoi. A PDF of the signed proclamation is available here.

Click to read

Click to read

SECOND SUPPLEMENTARY PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature, provides for the establishment of County organizations for emergency management and disaster relief with the Mayor having direct responsibility and authority over emergency management within the County; and

WHEREAS, Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature and Chapter 7, Articles 1 and 2 of the Hawai‘i County Code, establishes a Civil Defense Agency within the County of Hawai‘i and prescribes its powers, duties, and responsibilities, and Section 13‑23 of the Hawai‘i County Charter empowers the Mayor of the County to declare emergencies; and

WHEREAS, the County of Hawai‘i on September 4, 2014, and the State of Hawai‘i on September 5, 2014, issued Proclamations declaring states of emergency due to the threat of disaster due to the June 27th lava flow in the District of Puna, County and State of Hawai‘i; and

WHEREAS, the County of Hawai‘i on October 16, 2014, issued a Supplementary Proclamation, and the State of Hawai‘i on September 22, 2014, and October 17, 2014, issued a Supplementary Proclamation and Second Supplementary Proclamation further declaring states of emergency due to the threat of disaster due to the June 27th lava flow in the District of Puna, County and State of Hawai‘i; and

WHEREAS, the United States Geological Survey – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on December 3, 2014, reported that the eruptive phase of the June 27th flow is continuing and show no signs of halting and that new breakouts occurring upslope of Pahoa Village have converged to create a new organized lava front; and

WHEREAS, this new upslope front has been proceeding at a rate of several hundred yards per day and is presently located 2.5 miles from State Highway 130; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM P. KENOI, Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i,

do hereby proclaim and declare that a state of emergency continues to exist due to the threat of imminent disaster on the Hawai‘i Island, District of Puna, effective December 3, 2014, and that the Proclamation of September 4, 2014, and Supplementary Proclamation of October 16, 2014, shall remain in full force and effect and are hereby included in the provisions of this Second Supplementary Proclamation and shall continue thereon for 60 days or until further act by this office.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the County of Hawai‘i to be affixed. Done this 3rd day of December, 2014, in Hilo, Hawai‘i.

WIILIAM P. KENOI
Mayor
County of Hawai‘i

Public, Private Agencies Convene to Discuss Lava, Emergency Housing

More than 45 of Hawaii Island’s top officials in government, business, construction, academia and the non-profit sector gathered last week in Hilo to discuss the Puna lava situation and its effects on the island’s housing market.
Lava Housing

The emergency housing forum, hosted by HOPE Services Hawaii, Hawaii Island Realtors, the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) and Day Lum Rentals & Management, included roundtable discussions that focused on short- and long-term housing planning, legislative policy and expanding community resources.

The November 24 forum was intended as the beginning of a larger conversation focused on building more affordable housing on Hawaii Island. An action plan that outlines next steps and leverages private and public partnerships is being created by the forum’s hosts and expected to be complete by first quarter 2015. The plan will identify short and long-term solutions, which will help inform possible legislative policies and provide the basis for maximizing community resources.

During the forum, agency heads discussed what organizations are experiencing as a result of the lava breakout, which started in late June and has travelled 13.5 miles since. Some presented ideas to alleviate the demand for housing outside of Puna, noting, however, that today’s quick fixes should complement the island’s long-term housing and development plans.

“No one is pretending to have all the answers,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “There’s no lava flow manual, so many policy decisions are being made with the best information available. What we’re facing as a community is significant, but the challenges are not insurmountable. The County has been and will continue to be all hands on deck, ready to collaborate, and to share information as it becomes available to lessen anxiety and uncertainty.”

Brandee Menino, chief executive officer for HOPE Services Hawaii, said that while HOPE primarily helps homeless and at-risk individuals and families transition off the streets and obtain stable housing, her office has been getting calls from families displaced by Tropical Storm Iselle and potentially isolated by the lava. She noted that even before this year’s natural disasters, the need for rental units had been identified.

“A 2011 Housing Planning Study prepared for the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation revealed that Hawaii County would need 1,753 rental units by 2016 in order to meet the growing demand for housing,” said Menino. “This report was done in 2011, when lava was not a concern, so we must make a concerted effort to prioritize creating more affordable housing opportunities for Hawaii’s families.”

Paul Normann, executive director of the Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP), a resource for distressed families, said Puna has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the State. “Because of the disruption caused by Iselle and the active lava flow, NPP has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families seeking assistance. In the first four months of the current fiscal year, July through October, NPP has already served 106 families. To put that in context, over the course of the entire 12 months of the previous fiscal year, NPP served a total of 130 families.

Nancy Cabral of Day-Lum said that some families wanted to get ahead of the lava and moved from the area. But Cabral is concerned with who haven’t. “There are a lot of residents who have not been preparing for what’s coming. It seems they are waiting for government to step in and rescue them, so we really need to take steps to ready the housing market.”

Cabral offered solutions to stave off a potential housing crisis including working with hotels to temporarily rent out rooms, helping families uproot and move homes to vacant lots and lobbying the State to relinquish control to the County of affordable units such as Lanakila Housing, which can move faster to make the units available to those looking to relocate from Puna.

Mark Kimura, an economic geography researcher at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, who conducted an informal survey of Puna residents, said almost half reported they had no one to rely on or place to go if they needed to move. 14 percent said they have already left the area or are preparing to leave and 25 percent said they could move-in with family or friends on-island. He said many don’t want to give up their homes because they are still paying a mortgage, have farms, can’t afford to move and have difficulty finding places that are pet-friendly or retrofitted for people with disabilities.

Amanda Donaldson, President of NARPM’s East Hawaii chapter, which is made up of about 20 local residential property managers, said members get nearly a dozen additional calls a day from families looking for housing outside the lava zone. She said NARPM agents are willing to add addendums that allow individuals in the lava impact zone to break their lease once lava hits.

Kehau Costa of Hawaii Island Realtors championed a “one-stop-shop” rentals website where interested renters can view available units on the island, which would speed up house hunting. Costa also suggested a “new landlord resource fair” because of the increasing number of individuals asking how they can convert part of or their entire home into a rental.

Additional ideas that came out of the forum include exploring commuter housing, house sharing, prepping lands for modular housing, fast tracking County building permit processes as well as County take over, repair and rental of foreclosure homes.

Any individuals or organizations interested in taking part in future discussions may contact Brandee Menino at bmenino@hopeserviceshawaii.org or (808) 933-6013.

Satellite Image Shows Lava Activity in Downslope Portion of Flow

This image was acquired yesterday (December 1, 2014) by the WorldView 2 satellite, and shows the activity in the downslope portion of the June 27th lava flow.

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Click to enlarge

The portion of the June 27th lava flow that entered Pāhoa in October is inactive, but a new lobe is advancing downslope a short distance west of the earlier flow. The leading tip of the new lobe is evident by its long smoke plume, caused by vegetation burning. A Civil Defense overflight this morning (December 2, 2014) showed that this active tip continues to move towards the northeast.

New Map Puts Pahoa Marketplace in Lava Flow Path

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted an overflight at midday on Monday, mapping and observing the entire length of the June 27th lava flow field.

The breakouts that began about two weeks ago near the area of ground cracks continued to advance downslope over the past week, creating a new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. This lobe is a short distance west of the earlier portion of the June 27th flow that reached Pāhoa. The new lobe advanced about 2.8 km (1.7 miles) over the past week, which is equivalent to about 400 meters per day (0.25 miles per day). A narrow lava channel was active this morning at the leading tip of the new lobe. The leading tip of this active lobe was 4.6 km (2.9 miles) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road (the intersection by Pahoa Marketplace).

The breakouts that began about two weeks ago near the area of ground cracks continued to advance downslope over the past week, creating a new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. This lobe is a short distance west of the earlier portion of the June 27th flow that reached Pāhoa. The new lobe advanced about 2.8 km (1.7 miles) over the past week, which is equivalent to about 400 meters per day (0.25 miles per day). A narrow lava channel was active this morning at the leading tip of the new lobe. The leading tip of this active lobe was 4.6 km (2.9 miles) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road (the intersection by Pahoa Marketplace).

Since the last overflight on November 24, a narrow finger has broken away from the west edge of the flow field and moved to the north by about 2.8 km (1.7 mi), which is an average advance rate of 400 meters/day (440 yards/day). The finger branches off at a point downslope of the crack system where the older flow makes a bend from the north to the northeast. Along its length, the width of the active finger varies from 30 meters (33 yards) to 180 meters (200 yards). The total length of the flow, between Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the front of the new finger, is 18.3 km (11.4 mi) as measured along the flow axis.

A closer look at the narrow lava channel near the leading tip of the active lobe. The channel consists of both open sections as well as sections that are crusted over.

A closer look at the narrow lava channel near the leading tip of the active lobe. The channel consists of both open sections as well as sections that are crusted over.

The new finger is following a different steepest-descent path than the previously active flow lobe. The new forecast path takes the flow towards the intersection of Pāhoa Village Road and Highway 130, in the vicinity of the Pahoa Marketplace. The flow is currently about 4.6 km (2.9 miles) upslope of the intersection as measured along a straight line. The flow is approaching an area of gentler topography, however, where two steepest-descent paths nearly converge. The ultimate flow path is therefore difficult to forecast while the activity remains upslope of this point.

This map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The area of the flow on November 24, 2014, at 12:00 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on December 1 at 11:30 AM is shown in red. Most surface flow activity is focused into a narrow finger that branches off the west edge of the flow field north of the East Rift Zone crack system. The front of this finger (19.475836, -154.986834 Decimal Degrees) was 4.6 km (2.9 mi) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road at the Pahoa Marketplace. The dotted blue lines show the pertinent steepest-descent paths, calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/), that the flow is projected to follow. Note that about 1 km (0.6 mi) downslope from the tip of the active flow two different steepest-descent paths come very close together. This is a location where the ground becomes very flat, and the flow could end up following either (or both) of these paths. 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 dotted blue line can be used to infer only an approximate flow path.  (Click to Enlarge)

The area of the flow on November 24, 2014, at 12:00 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on December 1 at 11:30 AM is shown in red.
Most surface flow activity is focused into a narrow finger that branches off the west edge of the flow field north of the East Rift Zone crack system. The front of this finger was 4.6 km (2.9 mi) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road at the Pahoa Marketplace. (Click to Enlarge)

During the overflight, HVO scientists were also able to measure the cross-sectional area of the lava stream within the tube near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Their result of 2.0 square meters (2.4 square yards) is a 25% reduction in area compared to last week. A smaller lava-stream cross section is consistent with less lava flowing through the tube due to the current summit deflation, which has been ongoing since Saturday morning.

Based on the gentler topography that the flow is approaching and the decrease in cross-sectional area of the lava stream within the tube, it is likely that the advance rate of the narrow finger will slow in the coming days.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the narrow channel at the leading tip of the new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. The normal photograph is partially obscured by smoke from vegetation burning, but the thermal image can "see" through the smoke to show the nature of the channel in detail. Some sections of the channel are completely covered by crust (forming a lava tube), while other sections were open with a smoothly flowing surface.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the narrow channel at the leading tip of the new lobe on the June 27th lava flow. The normal photograph is partially obscured by smoke from vegetation burning, but the thermal image can “see” through the smoke to show the nature of the channel in detail. Some sections of the channel are completely covered by crust (forming a lava tube), while other sections were open with a smoothly flowing surface.

In addition to the narrow finger, weak activity is also present in three areas upslope: 1) surface lava was active where the new finger branches off from the existing flow field; 2) minor surface flows were extending the flow margin to the east at the eastern edge of the crack system; and 3) about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, small amounts of surface lava marked the continued activity of the breakout that started near the Kahaualeʻa cone about two weeks ago. Observations of the stalled flow that extends from the crack system into Pāhoa Village indicate that the lava tube is not being reoccupied, and that this lobe of the flow is effectively inactive.

Daily updates about Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Breakout Lava Flow Becomes New Flow Front

This is an eruption and lava flow update for Monday December 1st at 7:30 AM.

This morning’s helicopter assessment shows that the breakouts remain active and the furthest down slope breakout has become the new flow front. The active flow is located approximately 2.9 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection. The flow had advanced approximately 400 yards since yesterday.

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Current activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory personnel are maintaining close observations of flow activity. Residents down slope will be kept informed of any changes in flow activity, advancement, and status.

Smoke conditions were light this morning in the immediate area with all smoke from burning vegetation being blown in a southeast direction. Smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take precautions and to remain indoors.

The Pahoa Village Road remains open to all traffic and motorists are advised to exercise caution as some utility pole protection material remains in place. Everyone is asked to please respect the residents of the area who were affected by the lava flow and to not trespass on private property.

Once again we would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thermal Images Shows Pahoa Not Out of Danger Yet

This satellite image was captured today by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 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.  (Click to enlarge)

Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. (Click to enlarge)

Although the farthest tip of the June 27th lava flow, in Pāhoa, is stalled, this image shows that breakouts remain active upslope.

These breakouts are focused in two areas. First, there is a breakout about 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Second, breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks farther downslope.

The farthest tip of these breakouts has advanced a short distance north over the past day and was 5.8 km (3.6 miles) upslope of Apaʻa St. as measured along a straight line.

Lava Breakouts Remain Active Around Ground Crack System and Well Site

The farthest downslope breakouts today are still situated around the ground crack system, near the abandoned well site. The front of these breakouts was about 500 m (0.3 miles) northeast of the well site, and about 1.9 km (1.2 miles) west of Kaohe Homesteads.

These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins.  (Click to enlarge)

These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins. (Click to enlarge)

Much of the active lava was covering the existing flow around the ground crack system, with small portions entering the forest at the flow margins.

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Click to enlarge

The activity in the forest triggered brush fires and frequent methane explosions.

An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam.  Click to enlarge

An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam. Click to enlarge

Lava Breakouts Remain Active Near Cemetery – Additional Breakouts Upslope

Sluggish breakouts remain active near cemetery, with additional breakouts upslope

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Slowly moving breakouts were active a short distance north of the cemetery, and were 630 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of Pāhoa Village Rd.

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Inflation along the lava tube has created a long ridge with a deep, semi-continuous crack along the ridge centerline (right side of image). The peak of the ridge, by rough estimate, is about 4 meters (13 feet) above the original ground surface. This photo looked northeast along the trend of the tube, just south of the cemetery. The short section of uncovered road is the cemetery access road.

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A close look into a tree mold on a recently active portion of the June 27th lava flow.

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Earlier in the week lava reached the outer fence of the transfer station, sending several small cascades through the fence and down the embankment. Burning of the asphalt continued for several days. Now that burning has ceased at the transfer station, a closer look at these features was possible. Note that the lava which stalled at the fence line subsequently inflated to a height slightly greater than that of the fence.

Big Island Police Still Searching for Jeff Meek

Hawaiʻi Island police are continuing their search for a missing 44-year-old Keaʻau man.

Jeff Meek

Jeff Meek

Thursday (November 13), detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section, Vice Section and Juvenile Aid Section continued their search for Jeffrey Everett Meek, who was last seen in the Pepeʻekeo area last Saturday (November 8). The efforts included both ground and aerial searches, which were aided by use of a Hawaiʻi Fire Department helicopter.

Search efforts continued along the shoreline Friday morning (November 14), again aided by the Fire Department’s chopper.

Detectives have recovered items that are believed to belong to Meek but his whereabouts remain unknown. News reports about “pinging” the location of his cell phone were based on the family’s use of a website that has a disclaimer stating that the information may not be accurate. Police are using more reliable methods to track the location of the phone.

Meek is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, 185 pounds with blue eyes and balding brown hair. He usually wears a white cowboy hat and blue jeans. He was last seen operating a 1986 faded blue Ford pickup truck, which police have since recovered.

Police ask anyone who may have seen Meek and his truck on November 8 or who may have information or know his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers 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.

Lava Flow Active Upslope and Downslope From Apa’a Street

20141113 June 27th Lava Overflight from ‘Ena Media Hawaii on Vimeo.

June 27th flow lobes active upslope and downslope from Apaʻa Street

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Lava continues to advance downslope in several places along the distal part of the June 27th lava flow, as seen in this photo. The most active breakout is the flow to the right, which forms a relatively narrow finger about 360 meters (390 yards) upslope from Apaʻa Street. Other breakouts include a tiny lobe that is encroaching on the solid waste transfer station, the narrow flow that destroyed and bypassed the house across the street from the transfer station, and weak activity near the cemetery. The view is looking to the east.

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The small breakout near the solid waste transfer station began spilling into the truck access road that loops around the transfer station. This road is quite a bit lower than the transfer station buildings, and it will likely take a few days for it to fill up, if the breakout remains active. The smoke at upper left is a different breakout, which destroyed the house just across the street from the transfer station a few days ago. The view is to the east-northeast.

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This photo shows the distal part of the June 27th flow looking toward the southwest. The stalled tip of the flow is barely cut off at the left side of the photo.

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The house which was recently destroyed by lava is just below the center of the photo. Lava bypassed the garage, which still stands at the center of the photo. Lava briefly entered the fish pond next to the house, before continuing downslope. Also visible is the small active flow next to the transfer station, and the larger, more rapidly moving finger about 360 meters (390 yards) upslope from Apaʻa Street at upper right. The smoke at upper left marks another breakout widening the flow into the adjacent forest. The view is to the southwest.

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Lava flows continue to encroach on the Pāhoa Japanese Cemetery, with the latest activity there coming right up to the edge of the green-roofed shelter. An inflated ridge 3–4 meters high (10–13 feet high) cuts across the cemetery (visible on the near side of the cemetery in the photo), and is the source of the recent and active lava visible at the bottom of the photo.

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A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the leading tip of the June 27th flow. The stalled flow front exhibits lower surface temperatures (red, purple colors), as it has been stalled for over a week. Upslope, however, scattered breakouts are active and have much higher surface temperatures (white, yellow colors).

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Another view of the activity near the transfer station, shown by a normal photograph and a thermal image. The white arrows show corresponding points of reference. The left arrow marks the tip of this small lobe (one of many active today), which was approaching Apaʻa St. Small cascades of lava can be seen flowing down the embankment surrounding the transfer station.

Lava Flow Inflating – Before/After Shot of Apa’a Street Utility Pole

The main mode of growth of the June 27th lava flow over the past several days has been inflation (thickening) of the flow.

Before/After shot courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory (Click to Enlarge)

Before/After shot courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory (Click to Enlarge)

The photos above were taken where lava crossed Apaʻa Street / Cemetery Road. On October 25 (left), just a few hours after the flow crossed the road, the lava was only about 3 feet thick. Ten days later, on November 4 (right), the flow was about 12 feet thick. The cinder pile surrounding the power pole provides a sense of scale for the inflation.

HELCO Thanks Folks Who Shared Ideas for Protecting Utility Poles

The June 27 lava flow is spurring innovation and promoting collaboration despite its threat to the Puna community and the utility infrastructure that lies in its path.

Hawaii Electric Light would like to thank the many people who shared their ideas for protecting utility infrastructure from the lava’s extreme heat. The design process started in late August and involved numerous drafts. Multiple factors were considered, and the final design was a collaborative effort between Hawaii Electric Light, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The partnership was instrumental in helping the company understand the characteristics of lava and how to best reduce the short and long-term heat impact to the infrastructure. Our partners continue to assist us with post-impact evaluations. The key contributors were:

Hawaii Electric Light

  • Michael Iwahashi, Assistant Superintendent, Construction & Maintenance
  • Construction & Maintenance Division

University of Hawaii at Hilo

  • Dr. Kenneth Hon, Professor of Geology

U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

  • Tim Orr, Geologist
  • Matthew Patrick, Geologist

Among those submitting a pole protection design was Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS) Public Charter School in Pahoa. Although the design was not used, Hawaii Electric Light recognizes their innovation which paralleled the efforts of experienced professionals.

The design was created by high school students in the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program. Their assignment began with a question: “What can you do to help the community?”

“Our STEM class firmly feels necessity is the mother of invention,” said Eric Clause, lead STEM instructor. “When the students designed the power pole barriers, we looked at using materials that were ready and available and would work under the harsh conditions a lava flow would pose. We were really stoked when HELCO released similar design plans.”

PHOTO (L-R): HAAS STEM students Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, Michael Dodge, Logan Treaster, Maya Anderson, and Jordan Drewer. Photo credit: Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science PCS

PHOTO (L-R): HAAS STEM students Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, Michael Dodge, Logan Treaster, Maya Anderson, and Jordan Drewer.
Photo credit: Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science PCS

The students are Maya Anderson, Michael Dodge, Jordan Drewer, Henry LaPointe, Lyric Peat, Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, and Logan James Treaster. In addition to the pole protection design, the STEM students designed an air purifier that can filter hydrogen sulfide, a heat resistant bridge that is cooled by flowing clean water, and a desalinization system that can provide quality drinking water. Some students also are involved in the Hope for HAAS project using social media to raise funds to help HAAS accommodate displaced students in areas affected by the flow.

“Hawaii Electric Light applauds the students at HAAS for their innovation, creativity, and foresight,” said spokeswoman Rhea Lee. “With a lava flow headed their way, they responded proactively and not only developed a conceptual design to help protect power poles, but searched for other ways to help the community in which they live. These are qualities that we value and look for in our employees.”

New Breakout in Lava Flow to be Monitored Closely

This is an eruption and lava flow Information update for Friday, October 31 at 2:00PM.

distances

The flow continues to remain active however has not advanced since yesterday. The flow front remains 480 feet from Pāhoa Village Road. The front continues to show signs of widening with breakouts along the flanks or margins and is approximately 60 yards wide. A new breakout located upslope from the flow front on the north side is active and advancing in a northeast direction and will be monitored closely.  Additional breakouts above the Apaʻa street area along the north side of the flow are also being monitored closely.

Smoke conditions continue to be light with trade winds from the northeast pushing the smoke in a south southwest direction. Presently burning activity is involving a variety of materials and smoke conditions may increase in some areas. Residents down wind that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors. Additional health advisories may be issued depending upon materials involved with any fires associated with the lava flow.

Minor breakouts of lava ooze from the margin of the June 27th lava flow on the afternoon of Thursday, October 30, 2014. These breakouts are located about 100 meters (110 yards) behind the leading edge of the flow.

Minor breakouts of lava ooze from the margin of the June 27th lava flow on the afternoon of Thursday, October 30, 2014. These breakouts are located about 100 meters (110 yards) behind the leading edge of the flow.

Based on the current flow location, direction and advancement, residents in the flow path were placed on an evacuation advisory and notified of possible need for evacuation.  The evacuation advisory for those residents down slope of the flow will continue and residents will be kept informed of the flow status and advancement.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only. Motorist should use caution and slow down on Highway 130 near the Post Office Road intersection. Residents of the restricted area should not bring unauthorized persons into the restricted area. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity. Additional updates will be broadcasted as conditions change.