Lava Flow Crosses Emergency Road and Flows Into Ocean

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lava Now 0.2 Miles from Ocean

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

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

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

Tropical Storm Darby Claims Large Tour Boat Off Kona Coast

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

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

Kona Boat2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darby Almost Done on the Big Island – Steady Weakening Anticipated

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

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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

Darby 723 5pm track

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Kona Area of Big Island of Hawaii

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake was just registered in the Kailua-Kona area of the Big Island.
41 Kona
No tsunami was generated from it.  Full report here:


New Alert: Tsunami Information (Hawaiian Islands) – On The Western Flank Of Mauna Loa – 4.0,

920 PM HST FRI JUL 22 2016





ORIGIN TIME – 0916 PM HST 22 JUL 2016




Lava Visible at Kilauea Volcano’s Summit – Can Be Seen From Jaggar Museum Overlook

A long, hot hike was not needed to see red lava today. Vigorous spattering from Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake was visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park as of this afternoon.

The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar.

The lava lake surface, measured at 25 m (82 ft) below the vent rim this morning, was high enough for the spattering to be seen from afar.

A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

A zoomed-in view of the lava lake spattering.

Lava Flow Remains Active – Now 0.4 Miles From Emergency Road

The flow front remains active on the coastal plain, but has only moved about 60 m (~200 ft) closer to the ocean in the past three days.

hvo 71516

As of midday on July 15, the slow-moving pahoehoe is roughly 870 m (~0.5 mi) from the ocean. Activity upslope continues to widen the flow margins. The light gray surface in this image is the new pahoehoe of the 61G flow.

Aerial view of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Coastal Ranger Station at the end of Chain of Craters Road with the active lava flow (61G) in the distance.

Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

This map is a georeferenced thermal image mosaic showing the distribution of active and recently active breakouts on the Pūlama pali and coastal plain. The thermal images were collected during a helicopter overflight on July 15. The episode 61g flow field as mapped on July 8 is outlined in yellow to show how the flow has changed. Most surface flow activity is on the coastal plain, but breakouts also continue on pali.

The leading tip of the active flow was 870 m (about half a mile) from the ocean.

The leading tip of the active flow was 870 m (about half a mile) from the ocean.

According to this mornings USGS HVO Lava flow report the flow is now 0.4 miles from the emergency road:

The 61G lava flow, southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains active on the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank. HVO geologists visited the flow field on Friday. As of midday, the lava flow front was about 730 m (0.4 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 870 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean, an advance of only about 60 m (200 feet) since July 12. The leading tip of the flow was active on Friday and the area around the flow tip has widened. The most vigorous flow activity was nearer the base of the pali and extending out about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the base of the pali. See the most recent HVO thermal map and images of lava for additional information http

Good Outdoor Ethics Encouraged as “POKEMON GO” Craze Impacts Hawaii

A DLNR Division of State Parks employee reports that two people searching for virtual reality Pokemon Go figures wandered into a sensitive heiau on Kauai where a cultural protocol was underway.

Pokemon Hawaii

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “Unfortunately, we are quickly seeing unintended consequences of this new application by Google, in the outdoor issues that the hunt for Pokemon characters via digital devices can create, for both cultural and natural resources here in Hawai’i and elsewhere.”

In the first week since the release of Pokemon Go, the media has reported on two men walking off a cliff in California while using the app.  This increases the potential of increasing public safety and unauthorized access problems for local people and visitors venturing into our state parks, onto our trails and onto beaches, when paying attention to electronics rather than trails and signs.

This phenomenon provides a good opportunity to remind people to practice good outdoor ethics.  Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator reminds folks heading into the outdoors:

  • Be safe.  Use electronic devices responsibly and in emergencies to call for help. Distracted hiking, like distracted driving, can lead to accidents.
  • Stay on designated trails.  Follow all signs and closures.  Do not trespass, or enter natural or cultural areas where access is prohibited.
  • Carry out what you carry in.  Leave no trace.

“We want and encourage people to enjoy all of the outstanding natural and cultural resources  Hawai’i has to offer.  Given the release of Pokemon Go, this is an opportune time to remind everyone that these resources can and should be enjoyed in a pono way,” Case concluded.

Volcanoes National Park Offers More Tips On Viewing Lava

Visitors may hike and bicycle along the gravel emergency access route at the end of Chain of Craters Road to view and access lava as it flows down the Pūlama Pali and spreads out onto the coastal lava plain in the national park, and towards the ocean.

Visitors enjoying slow-flowing lava on the coastal flow field in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo.

Visitors enjoying slow-flowing lava on the coastal flow field in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. NPS Photo.

From Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the easiest vantage point to view this current eruptive activity is from a distance at the end of Chain of Craters Road. Visitors are encouraged to stop at the Coastal Ranger Station (CRS) to talk with park rangers, view eruption and hiking tip exhibits, and watch a four-minute lava safety video.  A public spotting scope is available to view the eruptive activity from a distance, as staffing allows. The park is open 24 hours a day.

Hiking to the lava from the park is allowed, but it’s not for everyone. From the CRS, it’s a long, hot, and grueling 10- to 12-mile roundtrip hike. Hikers can walk along the gravel emergency access route for about 3.8 miles, and then turn inland at a light beacon which marks the closest point to the active flow front, currently about a ½ mile from the route. The flow field is a rough hike, with deep earth cracks, uneven terrain, and razor-sharp lava from older flows.

Rangers placed another light beacon 4.8 miles down the emergency access route, about 50 yards inland from the road, as a suggested starting point for hikers from the Kalapana side. The county Kalapana Lava Viewing Area near the park’s eastern boundary also offers a vantage point of the current eruption, and is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hikers are urged to be prepared, and to head out in daylight. There is no trail or marked route to the lava, which continues to flow and change daily. It is easy to become disoriented after dark. Each person needs about a gallon of water, sturdy closed-toe hiking shoes or boots, gloves to protect the hands, and long pants to protect against lava rock abrasions. Wear sunblock, sunglasses and a hat. Each person needs a flashlight and/or headlight with extra batteries.

“If you’re planning an excursion to the lava flows, go during daylight hours,” advised Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando, who hiked out across the lava plain earlier this week. “It’s still a long, tough hike, but the viewing has been excellent by day,” she said.

Experienced bicyclists can also use the emergency access route, but the loose gravel makes it a challenging ride for inexperienced riders. Cyclists are urged to ride during daylight hours only. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Orlando also reminds hikers to respect Hawaiian culture. Many native Hawaiians believe that lava is the kinolau, or physical embodiment, of volcano goddess Pele. Poking lava with sticks and other objects is disrespectful. It’s also illegal in national parks. Federal law prohibits “possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging or disturbing” natural and cultural resources (36 CFR § 2.1). Pets and unmanned aerial systems, or drones, are also prohibited on the flow field in the national park.

Volcanic gas is another hazard, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, and infants, young children and pregnant women. If air irritates, smells bad or makes breathing difficult, visitors should leave the area.

Click to view USGS Video

Click to view USGS Video

Volcanoes are dynamic and ever-changing natural phenomena. The information provided can change at any time.

For hiking tips, visit the park website For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: Monitor air quality at

Hepatitis A Infection in Taco Bell Employee

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a new case of hepatitis A infection in a food service employee. The employee worked at the fast food restaurant, Taco Bell, located in Waipio at 94-790 Ukee Street.

94-790 Ukee Street, Waipio, HI

94-790 Ukee Street, Waipio, HI

The department is advising persons who consumed any food or drink products from this store from June 16 through July 11, 2016 (actual dates: June 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and July 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 11) that they may have been exposed to the disease.

Unvaccinated individuals should contact their healthcare providers about the possibility of receiving hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin, which may provide some protection against the disease if administered within the first two weeks after exposure.

“It is important to note that neither the Waikele Baskin-Robbins nor the Waipio Taco Bell have been identified as the source of infection for this outbreak,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “These are merely places where the victims were employed. The likelihood that patrons of these food establishments will become infected is very low, but to prevent possible additional cases, we are notifying the public so they may seek advice and help from their healthcare providers.”

Additional food service establishments may be affected as the number of cases continues to grow. Individuals, including food service employees, exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should stay home and contact their healthcare provider. All food service employees should strictly adhere to good handwashing and food handling practices.

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

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Appropriately cooking foods can also help prevent infection.

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at

For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1

Hawaii Wildlife Center Recent Cases

The Hawaii Wildlife Center listed the following birds that had been cared for in their most recent Wildlife Hospital Update.
tiny bird
Recent Cases:

  • Ua‘u kani (Wedge-tailed Shearwater) from O‘ahu – Case notes: downed
  • Koa‘e ‘ula (Red-tailed Tropicbird) from O‘ahu – Case notes: downed
  • Pueo (Hawaiian Owl) from Hawai‘i Island – Case notes: Suspected rodenticide poisoning
  • Ae‘o (Hawaiian Stilt) from O‘ahu – Case notes: orphaned chick
  • ‘Ewa‘ewa (Sooty Tern) from O‘ahu – Case notes: found struggling in the water
  • Koa‘e ‘ula (Red-tailed Tropicbird) from Kona, Hawai‘i Island – Case notes: Found offshore and could not fly
  • Least Tern from Kona, Hawai‘i Island – Case notes: poor feather condition, required decontamination
  • 2 ‘Auku‘u (Black-crowned Night-Heron) from ‘Oahu – Case notes: Suspected siblings, orphaned
  • ‘Io (Hawaiian Hawk) from Hawai‘i Island – Case notes: Young chick with infected crop
  • ‘Alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian Coot) from Hawai‘i Island – Case notes: Wing injury Pueo (Hawaiian Owl) from Hawai‘i Island – Case notes: Found downed
  • Pueo (Hawaiian Owl) from Maui – Case notes: Injured wing

Recent Releases

  • 2 ‘Auku‘u (Black-crowned Night-Heron) from O‘ahu
  • ‘Auku‘u (Black-crowned Night-Heron) from Hawai‘i Island
  • Least Tern from Hawai‘i Island
  • Pueo from Hawai‘i Island

“What NOT to Wear” When Visiting the Lava Flow – Don’t Poke or Prod Pele

Visitors are reminded that lava rock is extremely sharp and jagged, and will cause deep lacerations to your skin. If you decide to hike out to the coastal lava flows – or anywhere in the park – be sure to wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or boots and of course bring plenty of water, and be prepared!

Not smart!

Not smart!

Lava update: the 61G flow front is still active on the coastal lava plains, and is accessible on foot from the park at the end of Chain of Craters Road. Hikers can expect a 5-to 6-mile trek one way to reach the flows.

The gravel Emergency Access Route can be used by hikers and bicyclists, but no motorized vehicles or motorized equipment is allowed, except by park staff working in the area. From the gravel road, it’s another ½ mile hike to reach the lava over very uneven and rough lava rock terrain, fraught with deep cracks and unstable rock.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

Check with rangers at the Coastal Ranger Station before heading out, and keep a safe distance. (Due to the road surface and safety issues, only experienced cyclists should use the road, and bicycle use should be limited to daylight hours only).

Park rangers recommend day hikes vs. night hikes, but if you do stay after dark, ensure you have flashlights and extra batteries for every person in your group. Cell phone lights are inadequate for such a long hike. It is still closer to hike in from the Kalapana lava viewing area.

And please respect the Hawaiian culture. Do not poke or prod the lava flows with sticks, or roast food on the lava flows.

After dipping an egg beater and other objects into lava flow, a Pahoa woman was arrested on Thursday, October 30, for trespassing. Ruth Crawford ignored warnings about the lava flow and breached police-enforced barricades with her friends to gawk at the lava flow that had been threatening the town of Pahoa.

After dipping an egg beater and other objects into lava flow, a Pahoa woman was arrested on Thursday, October 30, 2014 for trespassing. Ruth Crawford ignored warnings about the lava flow and breached police-enforced barricades with her friends to gawk at the lava flow that had been threatening the town of Pahoa.

It’s also illegal to possess, destroy, injure, deface, remove, dig or disturb natural and cultural resources from their natural state.

Be prepared, stay safe, and have fun! And remember, Kīlauea volcano is also erupting from its summit at Halema‘uma‘u Crater. It is a very easy and beautiful experience to view the nighttime glow of the lava lake from the safety of the Jaggar Museum observation deck.

Lava Flow Front Activity Persists, But Advance Still Slow

Surface breakouts remained active on the pali and coastal plain, but the leading tip of the flow has advanced little since mapping on Sunday.

This morning, the flow front was about 940 m (0.6 miles) from the ocean. Activity upslope of the flow front was widening the flow margins. In this photo, the active flow is the lighter colored area.

This morning, the flow front was about 940 m (0.6 miles) from the ocean. Activity upslope of the flow front was widening the flow margins. In this photo, the active flow is the lighter colored area.

Above the pali there are no surface breakouts, and lava is carried downslope within the subsurface lava tube system. The trace of the lava tubes is evident by the line of fuming point sources along the flow.

hvo 713a

Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and the vent for the current flow, are in the upper left portion of the photo.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Adds New Live Webcam to View Lava Flow 61G

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has added a new live web camera so that folks can view the new Lava Flow “61G” from the comforts of your own home:

Click to view

Click to view

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

Click here to view at anytime:  Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana

The webcams are operational 24/7 and faithfully record the dark of night if there are no sources of incandescence or other lights. Thermal webcams record heat rather than light and get better views through volcanic gas. At times, clouds and rain obscure visibility. The cameras are subject to sporadic breakdown, and may not be repaired immediately. Some cameras are observing an area that is off-limits to the general public because of significant volcanic hazards.

Lava Flow Front Slows Down on the Coastal Plain

After rapidly advancing across about half of the coastal plain, the flow front slowed considerably over the past day. The front moved only moved about 90 m (300 feet) since yesterday’s mapping, and activity at the leading tip of the flow was fairly weak today. The position of the lava flow front relative to the shoreline can be seen in this aerial photograph.

The leading edge of the flow, which was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean today, is the light-colored area near the center of the image. (Click to enlarge)

The leading edge of the flow, which was 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean today, is the light-colored area near the center of the image. . Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the upper left skyline. (Click to enlarge)

More vigorous breakouts were active upslope, near the base of the pali. Fume from the lava tubes and smoke from burning vegetation are visible on the pali in the upper part of the photo.

Channelized ʻaʻā lava flows were still active on the steep sections of the pali. Dark brown areas are recently active ʻaʻā, and the shiny gray areas are pāhoehoe lava. (Click to enlarge)

A deep hole remains open on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, revealing a forked stream of swiftly moving lava (just visible in this photo).

 Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater is visible in the upper part of the photo. (Click to enlarge)

Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater is visible in the upper part of the photo. (Click to enlarge)

A wider view of the fume-filled crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

The deep hole near the crater rim (see photo at left) is just left of center in this image. (Click to enlarge)

The deep hole near the crater rim (see photo at left) is just left of center in this image. (Click to enlarge)

Stinky Corpse Plant Getting Ready to Bloom on Oahu

Foster Botanical Garden is anticipating that for the fifth time this year a rare Amorphophallus titanum, also known as the “Corpse plant,” could bloom as early as Sunday, July 9, 2016.

Corpse Plant Stinky 2

Plant specialists, who are closely monitoring the bloom, say that the plant normally opens in the afternoon, is in full bloom that night and finishes the bloom two days later. The first 24 hours are the “smelliest,” when the stench of rotten flesh emitted by the flower is most pungent.

The endangered species native to Sumatra, Indonesia is a short-lived flower that only blooms once every two to five years. It is the largest unbranched inflorescence in the plant kingdom. Contributing to this plant’s exotic allure is the bloom’s strong stench, which serves to attract the carrion beetles that pollinate the flower.

In cultivation, the Amorphophallus titanum generally requires seven to 10 years of vegetative growth before blooming for the first time.

This particular plant was donated by local resident John Kawamoto and will be blooming for the second time after eight years of growth from seed.

The plants are at Foster Botanical Garden’s Orchid Conservatory, which is home to 10 mature specimens of the Corpse plant.

Contributing to this impressive public collection are other plant displays in the conservatory:

  • Leopard Orchids
  • Spider Orchids
  • Blood Lilies

Foster Botanical Garden is located at 50 North Vineyard Boulevard, and is the oldest of the city’s botanical gardens. The garden displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the magnificent trees in this 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s by Dr. William Hillebrand. The garden also includes a palm collection, the Lyon Orchid Garden, hybrid orchid display, the Prehistoric Glen, and a gift shop.

Cost for admission at Foster Garden is: $5.00 – general, 13 years and older; $3.00 – Hawai‘i resident 13 years and older with ID, $1.00 – Child 6 to 12 years old; free – Child 5 years old and under (must be with adult). Call 522-7066 for information.

Foster Botanical Garden is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Please “Like” Foster Botanical Garden or Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Facebook ( or follow Mayor Caldwell on Twitter (@MayorKirkHNL), or call the Foster Botanical Garden Information Line at (808)768-7125, to find out when the Amorphophallus titanum blooms.

HPP’s Loss is Pahoa’s Gain – $22.3 Million Dollar Pahoa Park “In a Nutshell”

Mahalo to Councilman Paleka’s Assistant Nadia Malloe for following up on my question as to why the Pahoa Park has inflated from $5 million dollars to $22.3 million dollars and she got this answer:

Pahoa Park ExpansionAfter inquiring with Hawaii County Parks and Recreation (P&R), the following was shared:

P&R designs 4 types of parks, listed by size/capacity:

  • NEIGHBORHOOD Park – typically designed to meet the needs of neighborhood, such as University Heights
  • COMMUNITY Park – typically designed for small neighborhood communities, such as Isaac Hale and Hawaiian Beaches
  • DISTRICT Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of an entire district population capable for islandwide attractions, such as Pāhoa Park
  • REGIONAL Park* – typically designed to meet the needs of a specific region, usually a larger scale in comparison to a district park, such as Old Ace Park in Kona
    *Swimming pools are only allowed in DISTRICT and REGIONAL Parks.

Approximately 10 years ago, it became very apparent that Puna is a rapidly growing community. Thus, in efforts to meet the recreational needs in this geographic area, the administration of P&R proposed building a 20-acre community park in Hawaiian Paradise Park, with an estimated cost of $5.5 million.

At the time this $5.5 million project was being proposed in 2010-2012, area residents were strongly in opposition of this project due to concerns relating to traffic, safety and privacy of area residents, fee simple ownership, etc. P&R did not want to impose this project where it was not wanted. Thus, P&R began to look at other solutions to our rapidly growing Puna community.

In Pāhoa, the geographical heart of Puna, a district park already existed with 56 acres of land not yet developed. Since County P&R already had an established district park, it would ease the process as no land acquisition nor eminent domain was necessary to move forward.

This district park expansion is the most expensive project in P&R history and its being granted to not just Puna, but the geographical heart and center of Puna. There will be multiple benefits such as reducing criminal activity, promoting healthy living, creating a safer community, potential revenue for Puna, area residents and vendors.

P&R can offer more programs, engaging families, elderly, and persons with disabilities as well. In fact, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, in the past 4 years, juvenile crime decreased approximately 52%, thanks to the hard work and dedication from our County Parks and Recreation Dept. The projected completion of this project is as soon as next month or early September.

In a nutshell, basically the proposed project went from a small community park in HPP to a large district park in Pāhoa. For a price comparison, the amount of money the State spent to build the ONE new gym at Pāhoa High School, can build FIVE of our County gyms.

Nan Inc. provided me with the following aerial footage of the park being built:

Lava Now 0.8 Miles From Ocean

The flow front remains active, and was more than half way across the coastal plain today (July 6). This afternoon, the flow front was roughly 2 km (1.2 miles) from the base of the pali, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the ocean.

The front consisted of slow moving pāhoehoe.  (Click to enlarge)

The front consisted of slow moving pāhoehoe. (Click to enlarge)

Close-up view of a typical surface on pāhoehoe lava.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As this small channel of lava flows into a depression, its semi-congealed surface twists and wrinkles—forming the ropy surface commonly seen on pāhoehoe flows.

Flows on the pali are visible in the background.  (Click to enlarge)

Flows on the pali are visible in the background. (Click to enlarge)

The hardened crust of this pāhoehoe lava is pushed upward as the flow advances, exposing the incandescent lava beneath.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Active Shooter Presentation in Honoka’a

The Hawaiʻi Police Department will make an “active shooter” presentation in Honokaʻa on Tuesday, July 19.
Active Shooter
The presentation, which is open to the public, will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the large conference room at the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center, located at 45-539 Plumeria Street.

It is designed to help individuals increase their survivability should they encounter an active shooter or other type of active violent incident. Police will provide information on previous incidents of mass violence, recent events, best practices for those caught in such situations, law enforcement’s response, and how to work together as a community toward prevention. They will also provide additional resources for participants so they can continue their education on this topic, followed by a question-and answer segment.

Persons unable to attend may obtain “active shooter” information by viewing the “Active Shooter/Violence Awareness” page on the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website ( under the “Services” tab.