Hepatitis Outbreak on Oahu Continues

Additional cases of hepatitis A infection have been reported to the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), increasing the number of confirmed cases to 31.  DOH staff worked through the holiday weekend to conduct interviews with the newly identified cases in an effort to identify the cause of infection.

Hepatitis A Facts“Identifying the source of infection is a challenge,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park. “Hepatitis A has a long incubation period lasting anywhere from two weeks to as long as 50 days.

Accurately recalling all of the foods consumed and locations visited during the period when infection could have taken place is challenging for many, especially those who are still feeling ill.” Patients infected with hepatitis A virus are most contagious during the week before the symptoms start until at least one week after the start of  the first symptoms.

“Since people are contagious before they feel ill, we are very concerned about the disease unknowingly being spreading to others,”said Health Director Dr. Virginia Pressler.

The virus is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A infection and is usually spread by eating contaminated food or drinking water, and can be spread through close personal or sexual contact. A person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others within the same household.

For this reason, DOH investigators are currently reaching out to individuals who were in contact with those who have or had hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (a substance made from human blood plasma that contains antibodies to protect the body against diseases) administered within the first two weeks after exposure may provide some protection against the disease.

Unvaccinated individuals recently exposed to the disease are encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about these preventive measures.

DOH continues to encourage the public to review their immunization record and talk to their healthcare provider about vaccination.

For a list of vaccinating pharmacies, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/files/2013/07/IMM_Adult_Resource_List.pdf or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 2-1-1.

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

Additional information about hepatitis A can be found on the DOH website at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/dib/disease/hepatitis-a/.

Lava Now One Mile From Reaching Ocean

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on July 5 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). When mapped on Sunday afternoon, the flow front was about 690 m (755 yards) beyond the base of the pali along the western boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision; the flow front was about 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the ocean.

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Hawaii Electric Light Reports Brief Power Interruption

Hawaii Electric Light reports a brief power interruption occurred on Friday, July 1, when a combustion turbine unit at its Keahole Power Plant tripped offline.

Helco new Logo 2Maintenance crews were testing the unit (CT5) when it unexpectedly tripped. About 15,000 customers in various areas of the island experienced a six-minute power interruption while backup generators were started. Service was restored to all affected customers at 9:38 a.m.

“We’re in the process of investigating what caused the unit to suddenly trip,” said Rhea Lee-Moku, Hawaii Electric Light spokesperson. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience the interruption may have caused and want to thank the community for their patience and understanding.”

Information on power outages and restoration efforts can be found on Hawaii Electric Light’s Twitter account (@HIElectricLight) and website www.hawaiielectriclight.com.

Statewide Campaign on Mosquito-Borne Diseases and Threats to Hawaii to be Announced

Governor Ige and the Mayors of Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Counties will announce a new statewide public education campaign to build awareness of mosquito-borne diseases and their threat to Hawaii.

Mosquito Bite

The state and counties will also announce the state’s planning efforts to prevent, prepare, and protect Hawaii from mosquito-borne disease outbreaks this summer and throughout the year. State departments will mention special efforts underway to reach visitors, traveling residents and students with guidance on preventing the spread of Zika.

Why: As a favorite travel destination, Hawaii is identified as one of the nation’s higher risk areas for the potential spread of Zika virus. With the Aedes Aegypti mosquito present in our state, year-long warm climate, and past experience with dengue outbreaks, mosquitos pose a serious threat to our residents and visitors.

When:  Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: Governor’s Ceremonial Chambers, State Capitol 5th floor

Who:

  • Governor David Y. Ige
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell, City & County of Honolulu
  • Mayor Alan Arakawa, County of Maui
  • Mayor Bernard Carvalho, County of Kauai
  • Mayor Billy Kenoi, County of Hawaii
  • Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director, Hawaii Department of Health
    Major General Arthur J. Logan, Adjutant General, Department of Defense
  • George Szigeti, Director, Hawaii Tourism Authority
  • Ross Higashi, Airports Division Deputy Director, Department of Transportation
  • Steven Schatz, Deputy Superintendent, Department of Education

Commentary – Hawaii Department of Health Dengue Fever Survey

In a continued effort to research, document, and analyze the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) related to the recent dengue outbreak on the Big Island I’d like to ask you to complete a brief and simple survey on behalf of the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH). The survey is primarily for HI residents but there is no problem if you live outside of the State and would still like to participate.

Dengue QR Code

Results will help to describe the KAP of respondents related to mosquito illness and prevention and will help to coordinate future activities on this topic. Your individual responses, including IP address, will be kept anonymous and only one entry per device will be accepted at this time.

Please click on the link below or use a QR reader if you are so inclined to scan the QR code (that UPC looking thing with public enemy #1 in it). Better yet, help the DOH collect even more responses by sharing either the link or the QR code with your family & friends. Additional instructions are included in the link.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DOHDENV86

Mahalo,
Jason Dela Cruz, Hawaii Department of Health

Lava Flow Approaches Royal Gardens Subdivision

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 23 is shown in red. The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 16 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on June 23 is shown in red.

The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. (Click to enlarge)

The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. (Click to enlarge)

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Lava Flow “61g” Continues Advancing Downslope

The episode 61g flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues advancing downslope.

In this photo, the current flow is the lighter color area along the center of the image. The flow front has advanced about 770 m (0.5 miles) since the June 16 overflight, which equates to an advance rate of about 100 m per day (330 ft per day).

The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image.  (Click to enlarge)

The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image. (Click to enlarge)

The lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains active, and has enlarged since our last observation.

The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin.  (Click to enlarge)

The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin. (Click to enlarge)

An HVO geologist collects a fresh lava sample for chemical analysis.

The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today.  (Click to enlarge)

The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today. (Click to enlarge)

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube.  (Click to enlarge)

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube. (Click to enlarge)

Incandescent vents are still open on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. (Click to enlarge)

From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. (Click to enlarge)

An aerial view of the same vent shown at left provided a look of the lava stream within the deep cavity.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Department of Agriculture Considering Rule Changes Regarding Quarantine Restrictions on Ohia and Soil

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is currently considering proposed changes to the Administrative Rules regarding Chapter 4-72, Hawaii Administrative Rules, by adding a new section: §4-72-13 Quarantine restrictions on ohia and soil from rapid ohia death infested areas.

To view the proposed rule changes, click here.

ohia death

Public hearings regarding this rule change will be scheduled in the near future.

For information on this rule change, contact the Plant Quarantine Branch at (808) 832-0566.

Animal Control Activities and Temporary Closure Planned at Mauna Kea Forest Reserve

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities on Hawaii island on designated dates in July and September.

Mouflon

These planned activities are specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters of feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids.

These activities will take place within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), as well as in the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Kaohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawaii.

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawaii.

Control schedule dates are July 5 and 6, and September 20 and 21, 2016.  Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Kaohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

  • 7 a.m. July 5, and September 20, 2016
  • 6 a.m. July 6, and September 21, 2016

These actions are pursuant to Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapters 13-130-19 and 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.  The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

  • Locked 7 p.m. July 4, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. July 6, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. September 19, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. September 21, 2016

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. June 29, 2016, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only.

Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in.  A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Ahumoa location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu’u Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On July 5, and September 20, 2016, at Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at Kilohana Hunter Check Station at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On July 6, and September 21, 2016 at Pu’u Mali. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

Governor Extends Emergency Homeless Proclamation in Hawaii

Gov. David Y. Ige today signed a fifth supplemental proclamation on homelessness, which will remain in effect until August of this year. The supplemental proclamation provides an additional 60 days in which to continue the state’s cross-sector collaboration and coordinated efforts with the counties.

Click to read proclamation

Click to read proclamation

“The state has taken strides forward in creating a truly client-centered system among federal, state, county and community organizations,” said the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness Scott Morishige. “We are seeing unprecedented alignment of services and a commitment to the common goal of connecting people to permanent, stable housing as quickly as possible.” Morishige made the statement from the Maui Landlord Summit, where he outlined progress in the state’s unified response to homelessness:

Section 8 Landlords Recruited

The Maui Landlord Summit is the fourth in a series of state-supported events aimed at increasing government-assisted housing inventory. It serves to introduce potential landlords to homeless service providers and government agencies providing landlord support. The summit dispels misperceptions about Section 8 and the Housing First program, and is a collaborative effort between the State of Hawai‘i, County of Maui and Maui’s nonprofit service providers.

100 Homeless Families to be Housed

The Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority (HPHA) board has approved emergency rules to establish a special rental subsidy program, which will make available approximately $600,000 to quickly move at least 100 homeless families statewide into housing. HPHA Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi said, “With partnership with local nonprofits, this program is specifically focused on homeless families, where we expect to have an immediate, noticeable and lasting impact across generations.”

Scott Morishige underscored the importance of the developments: “These are two examples of community partnerships the state is forging to effectively and quickly address homelessness.  We are looking at new and creative ways for the community to pool funds, leverage resources, and work in alignment across all sectors to house and stabilize people experiencing homelessness.”

Over the past week, representatives from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National Governors Association have been in Hawai‘i as the Governor’s office has convened cross-sector meetings with stakeholders from every county and every sector.

Lava Flow Continues to Royal Subdivision and Ocean – No Structures Remain

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 10 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 16 is shown in red. The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). CLICK TO ENLARGE

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 10 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on June 16 is shown in red.

The inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Lava Flow Continues to Ocean – 2.7 Miles Long Today

The active surface flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō is still advancing slowly downslope and was 4.4 km (2.7 miles) long when mapped today. Averaged over the past six days, the flow has been advancing at a rate of about 200 m (220 yards) per day.

The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980's. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980’s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

At that rate, it will take about 10 days to reach the top of Pūlama pali, which is in the middle distance about 2 km (1.2 miles) farther downslope.

This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

The uppermost part of the nascent lava tube has several skylights, which reveal the lava stream within the flow, like capillaries beneath the skin

This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24.

This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24.

The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

Several vents have opened on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank since last December. A spatter cone grew over one of the vents in mid-May and is visible at the center of the photo emitting bluish fume. In recent weeks, a vent opened upslope from (to the left of) the spatter cone, revealing bright incandescence.

The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent.

The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent.

Though difficult to photograph, aerial views showed that this open vent was but a small window into a large, hot cavity beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank. Inside, streams of lava from an unseen source (or sources) closer to the crater rim (visible at lower right) were cascading toward the upper left into unknown depths.

This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

Shark Bites Kauai Surfer

A two mile stretch of Kalapakī Beach on Kauai’s southeastern shore has shark warning signs up today, after a surfer reports being bitten by a three to four-foot shark this morning.  The surfer drove himself to the hospital, was treated and released.

Shark Sighting Sign

Kalapakī Beach, which fronts the Marriott Hotel in Līhu‘e is not a lifeguard protected beach, so officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are posting signs to warn other ocean users about this incident and asking that they stay out of the water at least until noon tomorrow. This is standard protocol established between the state and all counties.

The surfer reports he was paddling out at about 6 a.m. when the shark bit him in the arm, 25-30 yards off shore. He suffered a single puncture wound.

Lava Flow Heading Towards Royal Gardens Subdivision

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

flow to royal gardens

The area of the active flow field on June 8 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on June 10 is shown in red. The area covered by the June 27th flow (now inactive) as of June 2 is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

June 27th Lava Flow Stops – New Lava Flow Over Two Miles Long

The only active surface lava on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone is the flow that erupted from the lower east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24, 2014.

hvo 61016This flow continues to advance southeast, and was 3.3 km (2.1 mi) long today (June 10). This photo shows the front of the flow; Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the background.

A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background. Click to enlarge

A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background. Click to enlarge

June 27th Lava Flow May Have Stopped – New Mobile Camera Deployed

Eruptions continue at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The summit lava lake remains relatively high, its level fluctuating slightly with changes in summit pressure. At Puʻu ʻŌʻō, only the lava flow advancing southeast appears to be active. The June 27th lava flow may have stopped. No Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows currently pose a threat to nearby communities.

An HVO overflight yesterday found no active surface lava on the June 27th flow field north of the East Rift Zone, though some small breakouts may have been overlooked. HVO scientists will continue to watch this area over the coming days – the more time that passes without active lava in this part of the flow field, the more likely it is that the supply of fresh lava to the June 27th flow has ceased.

Only the pāhoehoe lava flow that emerged from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24 was active yesterday, and it continues to advance southeast. The flow was 2.7 km (1.7 mi) long yesterday afternoon, meaning it has made it roughly half way to the top of Pūlama pali.

An HVO webcam has been deployed to monitor the flow (Mobile Cam 3, on HVO’s website).

This image is from a research camera positioned on the southeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking toward the active flow advancing to the southeast. The breakout point is at the left edge of the image, and the mid-field skyline at the right is roughly coincident with the top of the pali.

This image is from a research camera positioned on the southeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking toward the active flow advancing to the southeast. The breakout point is at the left edge of the image, and the mid-field skyline at the right is roughly coincident with the top of the pali.

Navy Disposes of Projectile at Makua Beach

At approximately 2:00 p.m. FRIDAY, June 3, 2016, the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel responded to a request from the Honolulu Police Department Bomb Squad with regard to a projectile located in 5′ of water approximately 20 yards off shore at Makua Beach in Waianae.

NAVY EOD

EOD personnel confirmed the object was a piece of ordnance and following standard procedure and observing safety precautions, proceeded to destroy the object in place.  HPD was on scene for public safety.

The projectile appears to have been in the water for a very long time as indicated by vegetation growth so specific identification of its origin would have been difficult.  The evolution was concluded successfully at 5:00 p.m. that day without incident.

Study Finds Endangered Hawaiian Geese at Risk From Disease Spread by Feral Cats

A new study published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases has documented evidence of “widespread contamination of habitat” in Hawai’i caused by feral cats. This latest research has alarming implications for endangered Hawaiian Geese (Nene) and other animals found throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

Endangered Nene (Hawaiian Goose) is the direct and indirect victim of disease-spreading feral cats. Photo: Jack Jeffrey

Endangered Nene (Hawaiian Goose) is the direct and indirect victim of disease-spreading feral cats. Photo: Jack Jeffrey

The peer-reviewed study, conducted by scientists from the United States Geological Survey, the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee, and the state’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, evaluated the prevalence of infection with Toxoplasma gondii among Nene (Hawaiian Geese), Hawai’i’s state bird. T. gondii is a protozoan parasite that causes toxoplasmosis in humans and wildlife and is the “most-commonly encountered infectious disease” in Nene, the study reports. T. gondii relies on cats to complete its life cycle and is excreted into the environment through cat feces. A single cat may excrete hundreds of millions of infectious eggs (called “oocysts”) in its feces.

The study found between 21 and 48 percent of Nene tested positive for past infection, depending on the island. The island of Moloka‘i had the highest infection rate (48 percent), followed by 23 percent on Maui and 21 percent on Kaua‘i. According to the authors, the higher rate on Moloka‘i may have been due to “a conspicuously consistent presence of feral cats.”

“This research confirms earlier studies dating from the 1970s that this parasite is probably found in tropical island ecosystems wherever there are feral cats,” said Dr. Thierry Work, the study’s lead author. “Recent studies also suggest that animals and humans are more prone to trauma when infected with T. gondii. Trauma is the chief cause of death for Nene, and infections with T. gondii may be making them more vulnerable, but confirming that will require additional studies.”

Hawaiian Geese are not the only Hawaiian wildlife to test positive for T. gondii. Other birds, such as the endangered Hawaiian Crow (‘Alala), and mammals, such as endangered Hawaiian monk seals, are also susceptible and have died from infection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in response to increasing seal deaths, elevated toxoplasmosis to a disease of “serious concern.” According to the Main Hawaiian Islands Monk Seal Management Plan, NOAA is concerned both with seal deaths and “the secondary and cumulative impacts of subclinical or chronic disease.”

Visitors to and residents of Hawai’i are also at risk from toxoplasmosis. Ingestion or inhalation of cat-transmitted oocysts may result in miscarriages, fetal abnormalities, blindness, memory loss, or death. A 2011 study found that nearly 80 percent of sampled mothers of congenitally infected infants (those infected by T. gondii in the womb) contracted their infections as a result of environmental contamination from cat feces.

A 2013 study by scientists from the Stanley Medical Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University also called attention to cats as the means of transmission to people. “Because cats are now so ubiquitous in the environment, one may become infected [with T. gondii] by neighboring cats which defecate in one’s garden or play area, or by playing in public areas such as parks or school grounds,” the study said.  “Indeed, as cats increasingly contaminate public areas with T. gondii oocysts, it will become progressively more difficult to avoid exposure.”

As well as spreading disease, cats are also a non-native predator that directly kill native wildlife in Hawai‘i and on islands around the world. In Hawai‘i, already known as the bird extinction capital of the world, feral cats kill endangered Hawaiian Petrels (‘Ua‘u), Newell’s Shearwaters (‘A‘o), and Palila, among others. A 2011 study recorded feral cat impacts on at least 120 different islands worldwide and determined that feral cats are responsible for at least 14 percent of global bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions.

“While we appreciate cats as pets and acknowledge the important role pet cats play in many people’s lives, it is clear that the continued presence of feral cats in our parks and neighborhoods is having detrimental impacts on people and wildlife,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at American Bird Conservancy. “Before another species goes extinct or another person is affected by toxoplasmosis, we need to acknowledge the severity of the problem and take decisive actions to resolve it. What is required is responsible pet ownership and the effective removal of free-roaming feral cats from the landscape.”

Views of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Its Recent Breakouts

View of breakout on northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The light-colored flows in the foreground are active pāhoehoe flows.  (CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE)

The view is to the southeast. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right.

The view is to the southeast. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right.

View of recent breakout on east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The flow has advanced about 1.3 km (0.8 miles), but activity today was focused in the middle part of the flow, closer to its vent.

The view is to the west.

The view is to the west.

This photo, looking southwest, shows Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background, with the northern breakout from May 24 extending to the right, with fume coming from a newly forming tube. The feature in the center foreground is a perched lava pond that formed in July 2014, but was refilled by new lava from the northern breakout in recent days.

The breakout point of the eastern breakout is hard to pick out, if you don't know what to look for. It's the lighter colored lava at the left edge of the photo immediately below center.

The breakout point of the eastern breakout is hard to pick out, if you don’t know what to look for. It’s the lighter colored lava at the left edge of the photo immediately below center.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s current crater subsided by about 10 m (33 ft) in the days following the May 24 breakouts. This view, looking southeast, shows the crater as it was today.

HVO webcams are perched on the edge of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone (an older crater rim) in the foreground.

HVO webcams are perched on the edge of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone (an older crater rim) in the foreground.

Hornito over middle of the three NE flank vents

Hornito over middle of the three NE flank vents

A close-up view of the spatter cone.

A close-up view of the spatter cone.

The ground around the spatter cone was covered in small gobs of spatter and Pele's hair, as shown here.

The ground around the spatter cone was covered in small gobs of spatter and Pele’s hair, as shown here.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A closer view of the skylight on the east breakout. The skylight is about 6 m (20 ft) across, and the lava stream is traveling toward the upper right side of the photo.

A closer view of the skylight on the east breakout. The skylight is about 6 m (20 ft) across, and the lava stream is traveling toward the upper right side of the photo.

An even closer view of the skylight (about 6 m or 20 ft across).

Again, the lava stream is flowing to the upper right.

Again, the lava stream is flowing to the upper right.

Big Island Police Investigate 23 Counterfeit Money Cases in May

Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about a spike in counterfeit cases in the Hilo and Puna districts.

In May, police investigated 23 counterfeit cases in those districts compared with seven cases in April and two cases in January through March. Stores and restaurants have received counterfeit bills in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.

Anyone who receives a counterfeit bill is urged to call the police to file a report.
Counterfit Money
Police ask anyone with information about who is producing or passing these bills to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.