270 Acre Brush Fire Started By Puna Lava Flow

The brush fire sparked by the lava flow yesterday burned 270 acres in Puna yesterday.
270 AcresAs of 12:30 this evening… it looks like the lava flow is still active in the vicinity of today’s brush fires.
111415picI had family and friends reporting of falling ash on their properties in the Ainaloa and Orchidland Subdivisions of the Big Island today.

Will follow things tomorrow as this lava flow changes each and every day.

18 Earthquakes Swarm Summit Where Lava is Coming From

18 earthquakes were registered within a few minutes of each other early this morning near the Pu’u O’o crater!

 

Summit Observations: Weak inflationary ground tilt recorded at the summit over the past 3+ days continued to weaken. There was a swarm of earthquakes in the upper east rift zone early this morning; 18 quakes occurred within a few minutes of 1 am.

11015earthquakesThe summit lava lake has shown minor fluctuations associated with changes in spattering behavior, which are also manifested as variations in tremor amplitudes and gas release but no net change in level which was measured at around 48 m (160 ft) below the lip of the Overlook crater Tuesday morning.

Thermal image of the caldera.

Thermal image of the crater.

Small amounts of particulate material were carried aloft by the plume. The average emission rate of sulfur dioxide was around 5,400 tonnes/day for the week ending on January 6.

11015pic

Lava flow behind Pahoa Market Place right now.

 

Brush Fire Caused By Lava Flow Being Monitored

A brush fire caused by the Puna lava flow was reported this afternoon near the firewall.
brushfire
Hawaii Civil Defense reports that about 15 acres are currently on fire and the Hawaii Fire Department is on the scene attempting to put the fire out.

1915map

Power Restored to Entire Big Island Following Major Storm

Hawaii Electric Light has completed repairs to all major damage caused by a storm system that passed over the islands late last week. At about 2:00 p.m. today, power was restored to the remaining 10 customers on Cane Haul Road (Honokaa) and in a remote area of Waipio Valley.

HELCO at Waipio“We would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we worked to safely restore electric service,” said Rhea Lee, Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson. “We realize how frustrating and difficult it is to be without electricity for an extended period of time, and our dedicated employees worked very long hours to assist customers and restore service as quickly as possible.

“The safety of the community and our employees always is our top priority. This storm damaged infrastructure around the island and some of the more extensive damage occurred in remote areas that were difficult to access until fallen trees and brush were removed, hindering repair progress in some cases.”

Hawaii Electric Light also reminds the community to be safe and treat all downed power lines as energized and dangerous. Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. If someone is injured by a downed power line, do not approach them. Call 9-1-1 for assistance.

The community is reminded to be cautious of trees that could have been weakened by the storm. Storms can weaken trees and their branches but not break them. Winds can topple weakened trees after a storm has passed, and this could cause new power interruptions.

Please call 969-6666 to report an outage, downed power line, or damaged utility equipment.

Puna Lava Flow Heads Towards Ainaloa

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow has not advanced any closer to Pahoa Marketplace, but is still active. Breakouts were also active near the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site, and along the distal 3 km (2 miles) of the flow, where a narrow lobe has been advancing toward the north-northeast.

The view is to the southwest.  (Click to enlarge)

The view is to the southwest. (Click to enlarge)

This shows a comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the flow front. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. White and yellow pixels in the thermal image show areas of active breakouts.

 Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled, the thermal image shows that active breakouts are present a short distance upslope of the stalled tip.  (Click to enlarge)

Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled, the thermal image shows that active breakouts are present a short distance upslope of the stalled tip. (Click to enlarge)

This view, looking northeast, shows the distal part of the flow, with the flow lobe behind Pahoa Marketplace to the right and the newer north-northeast advancing lobe to the left.

Ainaloa at top left.  (Click to enlarge)

Ainaloa at top left. (Click to enlarge)

The north-northeast lobe is following a drainage that leads to the steepest-descent path that crosses Highway 130 about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the Maku`u Farmer’s Market. The flow, however, is still 3.5 km (2.2 mi) upslope from that spot and moving slowly.

This photo shows a closer view of the narrow north-northeast advancing lobe about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) upslope from the Pahoa Markplace. The view is to the northwest. (Click to enlarge)

This photo shows a closer view of the narrow north-northeast advancing lobe about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) upslope from the Pahoa Markplace. The view is to the northwest. (Click to enlarge)

New Lava Breakout Advances Towards Ainaloa Area

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow this afternoon and mapped its perimeter. At the time of the flight, surface breakouts along the distal part of the flow were scattered between 1 and 3.5 km (0.6 and 2.2 mi) upslope from the Pahoa Marketplace and posed no immediate threat.

Click to enlarge

Amongst this activity, a narrow flow lobe (about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) upslope from Pahoa Marketplace) was advancing toward the north-northeast. This lobe has entered a drainage that leads to the steepest-descent path that crosses Highway 130 about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the Makuʻu Farmer’s Market, but the flow is still 3.5 km (2.2 mi) uplsope from that point and moving slowly. Small breakouts were also active in an area of persistent activity about 7 km (4 mi) upslope from Pāhoa. (Click to enlarge)

Daily updates about Kīlauea’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.

New Satellite Image Shows Pahoa Still in Danger From Lava Flow

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow. The area of the flow on December 30 at 2:30 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on January 6 at 11:30 AM is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The most active parts of the flow were in an area 400 to 900 m (440 to 980 yards) behind the stalled tip of the flow above Pahoa Marketplace, and at the front of a flow lobe that branches off to the north about 3 km (2 miles) behind the stalled flow tip. Other active breakouts on the distal part of the flow were scattered between these two areas.

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.

Click to enlarge

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on December 30 at 2:30 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on January 6 at 11:30 AM is shown in red. Click to enlarge

Hawaii Electric Light Responds to Storm Questions and Outages

Hawaii Electric Light crews continue to make progress on restoring electric service to customers affected by recent severe weather conditions.

Candle and Lamp

Today, repairs were completed in Ainaloa, Mauna Loa Estates, Orchidland, Nanawale, Hawi (except for Beers Road), portions of Honokaa and Ahualoa, most of lower Puna, Puukapu, and most of the Volcano area. Crews have been working long hours and will be getting some much-needed rest tonight and get an early start Tuesday morning. Crews will be working in Ahualoa, Beers Road, Discovery Harbor, Fern Acres, Hawaiian Acres, Honokaa, Kalopa Mauka, Kau, lower Puna, Paauilo, Volcano, and Wood Valley on Tuesday. About 360 customers are currently without power.

The community is encouraged to be safe and treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous. Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment. If someone is injured by a downed power line, do not approach them. Call 9-1-1 for assistance.

Customers who remain with power and have not reported it are asked to call 969-6666. Due to the high call volume, customers may experience a longer wait time before speaking with a representative. The company sincerely apologizes for this inconvenience and thanks customers for their patience and understanding.

On a separate note, the company received questions from customers who experienced many short power interruptions during the storm and wondered why that was occurring. During storms, strong winds can blow tree branches and other debris into power lines and cause short circuits. Lightning also can strike near power lines and cause short circuits. This can create very high currents, and the power lines must be turned off very quickly to prevent damage or further disruption to the rest of the power system.

Hawaii Electric Light uses automatic sensing devices to detect these short circuits and turn off power to the lines in a fraction of a second; this is when customers see a power interruption. In many cases, once the power is turned off, the line can be turned back on because the tree branch that caused the short circuit clears the line or the lightning strike dissipates. The automatic devices wait a few seconds and then turn on the power to the line; this is when customers see their power restored after a short time. Customers can experience multiple brief power interruptions during a storm because of frequent lightning strikes or trees and debris being blown into lines.

“We realize this can be frustrating for customers, but the alternative would be to have the power remain out of service during the entire storm since it would be too hazardous for electric utility workers to respond during the height of the storm when there are dangerous winds and lightning,” said Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson Rhea Lee. “We hope that our customers have a better understanding of what occurs during storms.”

Eruption and Lava Flow Information Update For Monday January 5th At 5:45PM

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Monday January 5th at 5:45PM.

1515breakout

Today’s assessment shows that the flow front and south margin breakout remain stalled and there has been no advancement since Friday.   The front or leading edge is located .5 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection. Two breakouts along the north margin approximately 1-1.5 miles upslope or behind the flow front are showing signs of increased activity and advancement and will be monitored closely. Other surface breakouts and activity along both margins continues upslope however, current activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities. Civil Defense and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory personnel are maintaining close observations of the flow. Residents and businesses down slope will be kept informed of any changes in flow activity, advancement, and status.

The Railroad Avenue Alternate Access Road will be closed to all traffic effective 12:00noon Wednesday January 7th.  This closure is necessary to allow for road maintenance and to preserve the road until such time that it is needed.  We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding with this closure and assure the community that the alternate access roads will be opened well in advance of any threat or impact of the lava flow.

On behalf of the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and our partners we would like to thank everyone for your assistance and cooperation.

New Satellite Image Released of Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Sunday, January 4, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.
Print
The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Tuesday, December 30.

The image above shows a close-up of the June 27th lava flow in the area of Kaohe Homesteads and Pāhoa. Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled recently, active breakouts have persisted a short distance upslope of this stalled tip. The image shows active breakouts (red pixels) roughly 400 meters (440 yards) upslope of the stalled tip, with additional breakouts scattered 2-3 km (1.2-1.9 miles) upslope. Also, several small breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks, near the abandoned well site.

HELCO Working to Restore Power to Big Island Residents Affected by Storm

Hawaii Electric Light crews have restored power to most customers in West Hawaii who lost electricity as a result of severe weather conditions affecting Hawaii Island Jan. 2 and 3. About 5,900 customers in the areas of North Hawai‘i and Hamakua, as well as spots in Hilo, lower and upper Puna, and Kau are currently experiencing power outages.

Omeka Street in Eden Roc

Omeka Street in Eden Roc

The windy conditions caused trees to fall into power lines and break lines and poles.

As power restoration efforts continue on Hawaii Island, Hawaii Electric Light would like to remind customers of important safety information.

  • Treat downed power lines as energized and dangerous.
  • Do not handle or move any fallen or damaged utility equipment.
  • Do not approach any downed power lines, as they may have electricity running through them and can be dangerous. If you see someone injured by a downed power line, do not approach them and call 9-1-1 for assistance.
  • Use generators outdoors and away from flammable materials. Generators connected directly to your home may feed excess electricity back into power lines, creating a public safety hazard. Plug appliances directly into your generator using extension cords.
  • Unplug unnecessary and sensitive electronic equipment. Use high-quality surge suppressors for electric appliances that remain plugged in.
  • Use batteries to power flashlights and lanterns. Do not use candles or other flammable fuel sources, as they are fire hazards.
  • Be aware of trees and utility poles that were weakened by storm winds and have the potential for falling.
  • Anyone who is without power and who is dependent on electric-powered life support medical equipment should make arrangements to go to an alternate location with power. They should bring their medical equipment and medications with them. They should also stay in contact with their medical equipment supplier for any special equipment needs.

If the service line directly to your home is down, please call Hawaii Electric Light at 969-6666.

“All available crews are responding to reports of downed power lines, poles, trees on the lines, and related issues due to the severe weather experienced on Hawaii Island beginning Friday. Customers in multiple locations are impacted,” said Rhea Lee, Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson. “Our first priority is to safely restore the backbone of our cross-island transmission lines to stabilize the power grid including the transmission tie to Hamakua Energy Partners, and then we will be able to work on restoring pocket outages around the island.

“Employees are in the field assessing damage to aide in restoring power faster. We know what a hardship it is for our customers to be out of power. We sincerely apologize and want to assure them we are doing everything we can to safely restore service as quickly as possible.”

For those who remain without power for an extended time, below are some food safety tips.

Refrigerated foods

  • Discard any perishable food that has been above 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than two hours. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and leftovers before you cook or eat it.
  • Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.

For those who remain without power for an extended time, below are some food safety tips.

Frozen foods

  • Foods can stay frozen in the freezer for one to three days: one day for a half-full freezer, three days for a fully-stocked freezer.
  • Food that has been thawed completely and has not been held at or below 41 degrees should be cooked and eaten immediately. If your food still has ice crystals, it’s safe to refreeze.

As a general rule, “when it doubt, throw it out.”

If your power is out for an extended period of time, consider using dry ice if available. Please remember to use gloves or tongs when handling dry ice. Dry ice can be placed directly on top of your foods, since dry ice cools things under it.

Hawaii Electric Light asks customers in West Hawaii who have not yet reported their power outage to call its trouble line at 969-6666. Call wait times have increased due to the high volume of calls; customers’ patience is appreciated.

January is “Volcano Awareness Month” in Hawaii

January 2015 is Hawaiʻi Island’s 6th annual “Volcano Awareness Month.”

A clear view today of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s summit revealed no significant change during the past week. The cross-sectional area of the active lava stream in the tube on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō was the same as measured on December 22, suggesting no change in lava discharge from the vent. The central crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō formed over several days following the opening of eruptive fissures on June 27; the view is looking toward the west. The distance from the high point on the northwest rim to the south rim (cliff in top middle to lower left in this photo) is about 300 m (~980 ft). (Click to Enlarge)

A clear view today of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s summit revealed no significant change during the past week. The cross-sectional area of the active lava stream in the tube on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō was the same as measured on December 22, suggesting no change in lava discharge from the vent. The central crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō formed over several days following the opening of eruptive fissures on June 27; the view is looking toward the west. The distance from the high point on the northwest rim to the south rim (cliff in top middle to lower left in this photo) is about 300 m (~980 ft). (Click to Enlarge)

With Kīlauea’s current lava flow impacting Puna residents, awareness is more essential than ever for us to live in harmony with the active volcanoes that are our island home.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, will provide a month-long series of programs about the volcanoes on which we live:

“At-a-Glance” Program Schedule

Program descriptions:

January 3, 2015, also marks the anniversary of Kīlauea’s ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, which began in 1983. During the past 32 years, lava flows have buried over 127 km2 (49 mi2) of public and private land, destroying 215 structures, 14 km (9 mi) of highway, and vast tracts of native forest. The ongoing destruction is a reminder of why it’s important to be aware of and understand how Hawaiian volcanoes work.

Lava Flow Continues to Advance Towards Pahoa Market Place and Highway 130

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted a helicopter overflight of the June 27th lava flow yesterday afternoon and mapped its perimeter.

1230map

At the time of the flight, the leading tip of the flow was stalled 530 m (580 yd) from the Pahoa Marketplace, but several small breakouts were active immediately upslope from the front. The flow had advanced about 150 m (~165 yd) since December 27.

The leading part of the flow consisted of several small, active lobes this afternoon. The front of the lobe that crossed the firebreak was stalled, though breakouts were active about 50 m (55 yd) upslope. Another lobe (area of most visible smoke in center) was about 300 m (330 yd) upslope of the tip and 150 m (165 yd) upslope of the firebreak. A third lobe was 350 m (385 yd) upslope of the firebreak. The view is to the northeast.

The leading part of the flow consisted of several small, active lobes this afternoon. The front of the lobe that crossed the firebreak was stalled, though breakouts were active about 50 m (55 yd) upslope. Another lobe (area of most visible smoke in center) was about 300 m (330 yd) upslope of the tip and 150 m (165 yd) upslope of the firebreak. A third lobe was 350 m (385 yd) upslope of the firebreak. The view is to the northeast.

Many small breakouts were also active along the length of the flow up to about 3 km (2 miles) upslope from the front of the flow, as well as within the ground crack area near the True/Mid-Pacific well pad and about 3 km (2 miles) downslope from Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This compares a normal photograph of the active flow front with a thermal image.

1231thermalThe photograph has been cropped and rotated to approximate the perspective of the thermal image. The thermal image shows that small breakouts were present immediately behind the leading tip of the flow and farther upslope, indicated by the white and yellowish pixels.

New Satellite Images Show Extent of Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, December 25, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.   Click to enlarge

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22. Click to enlarge

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.

The image above shows a close-up of the June 27th lava flow in the area of Kaohe Homesteads and Pāhoa. Although the leading tip of the flow stalled earlier this week, active breakouts have persisted a short distance upslope of this stalled front. The image shows active breakouts (red pixels) roughly 150 meters (160 yards) upslope of the stalled tip, with additional breakouts scattered upslope.

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.  (click to enlarge)

The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22. (click to enlarge)

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, December 25, 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.

The image above shows the extent of the entire June 27th lava flow, from its vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō to the flow front near Pāhoa, and provides an overview of the distribution of active breakouts on the flow. Near the vent, an area of active breakouts is present about 3 km (2 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Farther downslope, breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks. Closer to the flow front, breakouts are scattered just uplslope of the stalled tip of the flow.

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.

Click to Enlarge

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.

Click to enlarge

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”.