Civil Defense Hurricane Update

This is Hurricane information update for Saturday August 1st  at 7:00AM.

As of 5:00AM this morning Hawaii Time, Hurricane Guillermo was located approximately 1145 miles east/southeast of Hilo and moving in a west/northwest direction at 14 miles per hour.  Currently, Guillermo has sustained winds of 105 miles per hour with higher gusts.

hurricane 8115

No watches or warnings are in effect at this time and the Civil Defense Agency will be maintaining close communication with the National Weather Service and monitoring the system.  Please monitor your local radio broadcasts for additional updates.   The community is encouraged to take this time to prepare for possible storm impacts that could include high surf, strong winds, and heavy rains.  At the current track and rate of advancement, hazardous conditions could begin to affect Hawaii Island in the next few days.  Although there is some indication the system will weaken, early preparations are recommended and encouraged.

New Lava Flow Map Shows Recent Changes to East Rift Zone

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on June 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 30 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but on today’s overflight we observed a decrease in overall activity. In particular, breakouts that had been active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō on previous days, around Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, were inactive today.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The active breakouts began about 4 km (2.5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and reached nearly 8 km (5 miles). This farthest distance has not changed significantly in recent weeks.

Breakouts have further buried Puʻu Kahaualeʻa in recent weeks. The cone was originally covered in thick vegetation, but today only a single dead tree stands on the remnants of the cone rim.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!  (Click to enlarge)

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree! (Click to enlarge)

More here: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/index.php?display=default

As Climate Warms Hawaiian Forest Birds Lose More Ground to Mosquitoes

Hawai‘i, the name alone elicits images of rhythmic traditional dancing, breathtaking azure sea coasts and scenes of vibrant birds flitting through lush jungle canopy. Unfortunately, the future of many native Hawaiian birds looks grim as diseases carried by mosquitoes are due to expand into higher elevation safe zones.

Palila Bird

A new study published in Global Change Biology, by researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, assesses how global climate change will affect future malaria risk to native Hawaiian bird populations in the coming century.

Mosquito-carried diseases such as avian pox and avian malaria have been devastating native Hawaiian forest birds. A single mosquito bite can transfer malaria parasites to a susceptible bird, where the death rate may exceed 90 percent for some species. As a result, many already threatened or endangered native birds now only survive in disease-free refuges found in high-elevation forests where mosquito populations and malaria development are limited by colder temperatures. Unlike continental bird species, island birds cannot move northward in response to climate change or increased disease stressors, but must adapt or move to less hospitable habitats to survive.

“We knew that temperature had significant effects on mosquitoes and malaria, but we were surprised that rainfall also played an important role,” said USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit scientist Michael Samuel. “Additional rainfall will favor mosquitoes as much as the temperature change.”

With warming temperatures, mosquitoes will move farther upslope and increase in number. The authors expect high-elevation areas to remain mosquito-free, but only until mid-century when mosquito-friendly temperatures will begin to appear at higher elevations. Future increases in rainfall will likely benefit the mosquitoes as well.

Scientists know that historically, malaria has caused bird extinctions, but changing climates could affect the bird-mosquito-disease system in unknown ways. “We wanted to figure out how climate change impacts birds in the future,” said Wei Liao, post-doctorate at University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author of the article.

As more mosquitoes move up the mountainside, disease-free refuges will no longer provide a safe haven for the most vulnerable species. The rate of disease infection is likely to speed up as the numbers of mosquitoes increase and more diseased birds become hosts to the parasites, continuing the cycle of infection to healthy birds.

Researchers conclude that future global climate change will cause substantial decreases in the abundance and diversity of remaining Hawaiian bird communities. Without significant intervention many native Hawaiian species, like the scarlet ‘I‘iwi with its iconic curved bill, will suffer major population declines or extinction due to increasing risk from avian malaria during the 21st century.

There is hope for the birds. Because these effects are unlikely to appear before mid-century, natural resource managers have time to implement conservation strategies to protect these unique species from further decimation. Land managers could work toward preventing forest bird number declines by restoring and improving habitat for the birds, reducing mosquitoes on a large scale and controlling predators of forest birds.

“Hawaiian forest birds are some of the most threatened forest birds in the world,” said Samuel. “They are totally unique to Hawai‘i and found nowhere else. They are also important to the Hawaiian culture. And at this point, we still don’t fully understand what role they play as pollinators and in forest dynamics.”

The article, “Will a Warmer and Wetter Future Cause Extinction of Native Hawaiian Forest Birds?” can be found in the online edition of Global Change Biology.

The work was supported by the Department of Interior Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, which is managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The center is one of eight that provides scientific information to help natural resource managers respond effectively to climate change.

Wordless Wednesday – Food and Art?

Famous Hawaii Chef Sam Choy was spotted at the Kona Airport with artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker earlier today.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Parker’s agent Abbas Hassan said, “Big local news story is to follow next month”.

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Anyone know what’s cooking?

Pahoa Safe for Now… New Lava Flow Map Released

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of July 7 is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (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. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

New Law Helps Children Born With Facial Abnormalities

The measure signed into law today by Governor Ige dramatically impacts the lives of several dozen Hawaii families that include children born with cleft palates or other facial abnormalities.

Anya Maga with Governor Ige and Reps. Gregg Takayama (bill introducer), Della Au Belatti, and Henry Aquino.

Anya Maga with Governor Ige and Reps. Gregg Takayama (bill introducer), Della Au Belatti, and Henry Aquino.

In Hawaii, approximately one in every 500 babies is born with what is called an “orofacial anomaly.”  For example, between 2007 and 2012, 61 babies were born with a cleft lip or palate and 83 were born with other craniofacial defects at the Kapiolani Medical Center.

Rep. Della Au Belatti, House Health Committee Chair, said it’s crucial to correct these defects, not just for visual appearance, but because this condition affects basic functions such as eating, chewing, speech and breathing.  The complicated treatment to correct these kinds of birth defects usually requires multiple surgeries ranging from about $5,700 to $20,000 or more.

House Bill 174, introduced by Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades), requires health insurers to cover such orthodontic treatment, as do 16 other states.

“For families whose children have a cleft lip and palate, the range of medical, dental and other services can exceed $100,000 from birth until late adolescence,” testified Eileen Matsumoto, a registered nurse for more than 35 years.

The cost of reconstructive surgery is covered by medical insurance but not the full cost of the medically necessary orthodontic procedures required to prepare for these surgeries, which usually amount to more than $10,000 over a child’s lifetime.

These treatment costs are already fully covered by Med-QUEST for poor families but not by private health insurers for Hawaii’s working families.

The State Legislative Auditor reports the cost to all policyholders would be minimal – probably increasing premiums by two cents to four cents per member per month, based on the experiences of California and Massachusetts.

The measure has been called “Anya’s Law” after one of its active supporters, 6-year-old Anya Maga, who testified for the measure along with her parents, who are residents of East Honolulu.

New Map Shows Recent Changes to Lava Flow

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on June 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 30 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

This map overlays a georeferenced thermal image mosaic onto the flow field change map to show the distribution of active and recently active breakouts.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal images were collected during a helicopter overflight of the flow field today (June 30). The June 27th flow is outlined in green to highlight the flow margin. The yellow line is the active lava tube. Temperature in the thermal mosaics is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas, including active breakouts.

Big Island Earthquake Upgraded to 5.2 Magnitude

The earthquake that happened yesterday evening has been upgraded to a 5.2 magnitude earthquake.

This follows a previous update of 5.0 and 4.9 as previously reported.
52 big island

New Lava Flow Map Showing Flow Field Changes

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on May 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 4 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Man Goes Ballistic at WalMart and Smashes 12 TV’s

A 48-year-old man has been charged with a felony after a dozen televisions were smashed while customers shopped at a “big box” store in Kailua-Kona.

Alexander Springer

Alexander Springer

At 6:49 p.m. Monday (June 15), Kona Patrol officers responded to a report of a disturbance at a store on Henry Street. They arrived to find a suspect outside the store with another customer.

Witnesses reported that the suspect, Alexander Springer, had grabbed a bat from the store and used it to destroy 12 televisions. One of the store’s customers stopped him and took him outside while waiting for police to arrive. Damages were estimated at $4,081.

Police arrested Springer, who has no permanent address, and charged him with second-degree criminal property damage, a Class C felony. His bail was set at $2,000. He was held at the Kona police cellblock until his initial court appearance on Tuesday (June 16).

Decomposed Bodies Found on the Big Island

Big Island Police are investigating two bodies that were recently found on the Big Island in states of decomposition.HPDBadge

  1. At 8:37 a.m. Monday (June 15), South Hilo Patrol officers responded to a report of a body off the road leading to the Hilo airport.They found the body under a makeshift shelter in overgrowth about 80-100 feet south of Kekuanaoa Street and approximately a half-mile east of the intersection of Kekuanaoa Street and Kanoelehua Avenue. The body was in advanced stage of decomposition. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine the sex and cause of death. Fingerprints, dental records or both will be used to establish identity. The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest. Police ask anyone who may have seen someone riding a white bicycle into the bush area in that vicinity during the latter part of May or early part of June to contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or clarence.davies@hawaiicounty.gov
  2. At 11:10 a.m. Tuesday (June 16), officers responded to a report of an unattended truck off the 15-mile marker of Saddle Road. They found a body in an advanced stage of decomposition.  An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the sex and cause of death. Dental records will be used to establish identity.  The case is classified as a coroner’s inquest.

HVO Releases New Photo of Halemaumau Crater

One month ago the summit lava lake was at the rim of the Overlook crater (the small crater in the center of the photo), spilling lava onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (the larger crater that fills much of the photo), creating the dark flows surrounding the Overlook crater.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Since that time the lava lake has dropped, associated with summit deflation, and today the lake level was about 60 meters (200 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. The stack of recent overflows is visible on the wall of the Overlook crater as the layer of dark lava atop the older, light colored lava forming the majority of the Overlook crater wall.

The photo is taken from the southeast rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook is in the upper left corner of the photo. Jaggar Museum and HVO can be seen as a small bump on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph.

Missing Divers Pulled Out to Sea Found Safe

Two divers are safe ashore after strong currents pulled them eight miles east of Leleiwi Point, Big Island, Saturday.

Tiger Too, a 19-foot recreational boat, is en route to two divers marked by smoke flares approximately eight miles east of Leleiwi Point, Big Island, June 6, 2015, after strong currents pulled them four miles from their original entry point. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jim Morrow)

Tiger Too, a 19-foot recreational boat, is en route to two divers marked by smoke flares approximately eight miles east of Leleiwi Point, Big Island, June 6, 2015, after strong currents pulled them four miles from their original entry point. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jim Morrow)

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification at 10:22 a.m. of two divers missing from 19-foot recreational boat Tigger Too.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew diverted from a scheduled mission at 10:35 a.m. to begin a search. The Hercules crew located the missing divers four miles from their original location and dropped two smoke flares. Their location was then relayed to the boat’s captain who was able to rescue them. Both men are reported to be in good condition.

Ocean currents around the Main Hawaiian Islands can be extremely hazardous and can quickly overcome even the most skilled swimmers. At the onset of high surf and severe weather these conditions can become even more dangerous. The Coast Guard advises all ocean-goers to check weather conditions before heading out, never go out alone, file a float plan and know their limits.

Bullet Hole Found in Door of Telescope on Mauna Kea

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a report of damage to an observatory at the summit of Mauna Kea.

A bullet hole was reported in the door of the Subaru Telescope

A bullet hole was reported in the door of the Subaru Telescope

Officers responded to a report late Saturday night (June 6) of what appeared to be a “bullet hole” in a door at the Subaru Telescope at the Mauna Kea summit.

The damage reportedly occurred sometime between Friday evening and Saturday evening.

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call Officer Nelson Cacho at 961-2213 or 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.

UPDATE:

Hawaiʻi Island police have determined that damage to an observatory at the summit of Mauna Kea was not a bullet hole.

A detective investigated the scene Monday (June 8) and determined that a hole in a door to the observatory was caused by a bolt from an adjacent wall and that it had been there for approximately six months.

The case that had been initiated for this incident will be closed as unfounded.

Puna Lava Flow Still Active

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

On yesterday’s overflight, breakouts were active as far as 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Some of this activity was at the forest boundary, burning vegetation. This narrow lobe, one of several active on the flow field today, traveled over earlier Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava (light brown) to reach the forest boundary.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains relatively steady. This photograph looks towards the southwest, and shows outgassing from numerous areas in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. On the far side of the crater, the small circular pit (right of center) had a small lava pond that was too deep to see from this angle.

As shown in the May 21 field photos, the small forested cone of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been slowly buried by flows over the past several months.

hvo154All that remains today are narrow portions of the rim standing above the lava.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Summit activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu

A wide view of the northern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, on an exceptionally clear day.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

HVO and Jaggar Museum can be seen as the light-colored spot on the caldera rim. Mauna Loa is in the distance.

Click to enlarge

Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, looking west. Click to enlarge

The dark area on the crater floor consists of recent overflows from the Overlook crater. The Overlook crater is near the left edge of the photo, and a portion of the active lava lake surface can be seen below the rim.

 

Fish Kills Kona Fisherman

A 47-year-old fisherman died Friday (May 29) in Kailua-Kona during a fishing accident.

Randy Llanes was the captain of

Randy Llanes was a captain at Sundowner Sportfishing

Responding to a 10:48 a.m.call, police learned that a swordfish had been observed in Honokōhau Harbor and that fisherman Randy Llanes of Kailua-Kona had jumped into the water with a spear gun. The fish was then seen thrashing about, leaving a puncture wound to the man’s upper chest.

A picture from Llanes Facebook page

A picture from Llanes Facebook page

Hawaiʻi County Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. They took Llanes to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m.

Lava Lake at Halemaumau Crater Continues to Drop

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake continued to drop today (May 15, 2015).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Measurements of the lake surface late this afternoon showed that it was 62 m (203 ft) below the top of the newly-created vent rim, a ridge (or levee) of solidified lava about 8 m (26 ft) thick that accumulated on top of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor from multiple overflows of the vent during the past two weeks.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Webcam Captures “Bathtub Ring” Falling Into Lava Lake

This sequence of HVO webcam images of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit vent, recorded between 1:28 and 1:32 p.m., HST, on May 12, 2015, captures the moment a section of the dark-colored “bathtub ring” (a veneer of fresh lava that coats the vent wall as the lava lake level drops) fell into the lava lake (center).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The lava veneer collapse, which produced a visible cloud of rock and lava fragments, agitated the lava lake surface and exposed lighter-colored layers of older rock in the vent wall (right).

Lava Lake in Halemaumau Crater Drops

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has dropped significantly over the past two days, as Kīlauea’s summit has deflated.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The dropping lava level has allowed lava veneer on the walls of the Overlook crater to fall away, clearly exposing the contact between the original rim of the Overlook crater (which is the original, pre-overflow floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater) and the stack of recent lava overflows. These overflows are roughly 8 meters (26 feet) thick in total.

New Satellite Image Shows Lava Flow Activity and Progress

This satellite image was captured on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by the 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.

The lava flow field is partly obscured by clouds, but the image shows much of the activity on the June 27th flow.

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)

There have been three areas of breakouts active on the June 27th flow recently. The Feb 21 breakout has slowly migrated north over the past couple months. The breakout north of Kahaualeʻa has been active recently at the forest boundary, triggering small brush fires. The farthest breakout is 6-8 km (4-5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and consists of scattered activity near the forest boundary.