Big Island Police Investigating Hit-and-Run Accident in Kalapana

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a hit-and-run accident late Wednesday night (August 3) in the Kalapana area.
Kalapana Painted Church
Puna District police officers responded to an 11:11 p.m. report of a vehicle-pedestrian accident on Highway 130 in Kalapana. A 32-year-old Keaʻau man was reportedly struck by a mini-van while on the side of the road inspecting his stalled vehicle fronting the painted church in Kalapana.

The van sped away in the Pāhoa direction. It was described as light blue.

The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center and later transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Police ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Tristen Allen at 965-2716.

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.

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 Remains Active – Continues to Advance

The flow front remains active, and continues to advance across the coastal plain. This afternoon, the flow front was approximately 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the ocean.

Flow front continues across coastal plain

Flow front continues across coastal plain

The leading front of the flow is the light gray area in the low center area of the photograph.

A comparison of a normal photograph (left) with a thermal image (right) taken from roughly the same vantage point.

The thermal image shows the concentration of hot surface lava near the flow front, as well as areas of surface breakouts on and above the pali.

The thermal image shows the concentration of hot surface lava near the flow front, as well as areas of surface breakouts on and above the pali.

The amount of channelized lava on the pali has decreased over the past week, but there were still several open channels active today.

The amount of channelized lava on the pali has decreased over the past week, but there were still several open channels active today.

A closer look at the swiftly moving channelized lava on the pali.


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

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 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).

New Picture Released of Alaska Man Missing and Wanted in Questioning of Death of Woman in Kalapana

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about a 22-year-old Alaska man who was reported missing.

New picture released

New picture released of Boaz

Boaz D. Johnson of Petersburg, Alaska, last spoke to his family at noon on May 27.

Johnson is also wanted for questioning in connection with the death of 25-year-old Brittany-Jane Royal, whose body was found May 28 in waters off Kalapana. Royal and Johnson had reportedly been camping together before her death, which is being investigated as a murder.

Johnson is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7, 145 pounds with short brown hair and blue eyes.

Boaz D. Johnson

Boaz D. Johnson

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts contact Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at 961-2278 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


Canadian Man Dies While Hiking Across Lava Field

A Canadian man who died Tuesday afternoon (May 7) while hiking across a lava field has been identified as 57-year-old Riccardo Scagliati of Victoria, British Columbia.

Recent Lava Flow

Recent Lava Flow

Scagliati and a companion set out from the Kalapana viewing area Tuesday morning. On their return trip they got lost. Scagliati became disoriented and overheated and fell to the ground. His 57-year-old male hiking companion went for help and more water but then was unable to find his way back to Scagliati’s location.

Fire Department personnel later found his lifeless body with the help of a helicopter.

Satellite Image Shows Active Lava Breakouts on Flow Field

This image was captured on Wednesday, February 13, by the Advanced Land Imager sensor aboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

Satellite image courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Satellite image courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

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 or very recently active lava flows. The image shows three general areas of active breakouts.

  • First, flows have been active for several weeks northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and have reached about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater rim.
  • Second, breakouts have been active above the pali, about 5 km (3.1 miles) southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
  • Third, several scattered breakouts have been active on the coastal plain, with several patches very close to the shoreline above the active ocean entry. Satellite images such as this help fill in observational gaps between field visits.

Video of Lava Surf Photography by CJ Kale and Nick Selway

Photographers CJ Kale and Nick Selway waited more than five years to capture a never-before seen-view of an active volcano. When the conditions were finally right, the two friends risked their lives to get it.

Video of the first ever lava surf photography.

Photo by CJ Kale

Taken on may 9th-16th, 2010 at a Kalapana ocean entry that has just covered the last of the sand beach in the area. I waited over 5 years to get the conditions for this shot. Then we got 3 days in the water prior to the beach getting covered.


Uncle’s Awa Club Presents Spookfest 2011 with Ho’okoa and Inik


Lava Flowing Into Ocean Creates Funnel Clouds and Lightning Down in Kalapana

This video was taken down in Kalapana on the Big Island in 2008.

You can clearly see funnel clouds and lightning being created by this eruption.


Mainland Media Folks Experience Rare Occurrence at the Volcano

For the next few days a group of mainland journalists and bloggers are having the opportunity to do a few FREE or cheap things on the Big Island.

Today started off with a scavenger hunt at the Hilo’s Farmer’s Market where each of them were given $10.00 and were sent off to find food for lunch for everyone to make a picnic out of.

The highlight of today was being able to see the volcano here on the Big Island from both the top where the Halema’uma’u Crater is… to the bottom of the flow in Kalapana.

What they didn’t know was that they were going to be treated to a rare occurrence where the entire floor of Pu’u O’o collapsed into the crater.  Andrew Cooper, author  of the blog A Darker View,  wrote in his post today “Kilauea is up to Something“:

This afternoon the entire floor of Pu’u O’o has collapsed into incadescent rubble. For the last few months the crater at Pu’u O’o has hosted a lava floor that occasionally floods. This had formed a solid crust hundreds of meters across with spatter cones and small fresh lava flows across the floor. This has now completely collapsed. At the same time the rift has experienced a large number of small, mostly magnitude 2 earthquakes. At he same time there was rapid deflation at the summit caldera and at Pu’u O’o. Where has the lava gone?…

Well when I talked to Jessica Ferracane of Irondog Communications, she stated that the folks did in fact hear something happening at the time and it was quite spectacular!  Ferracane posted on her facebook account the following account:

Is listening to Halemaumau Crater boom and gasp as rocks fall into Pele’s home.  Amazing!

I met up with the mainland media folks in Pahoa and then we cruised down to Kalapana to see what was going on down there.

They were fortunate in that they got to go to a house down there on the lava flow and were treated to a spectacular view of the flow from there while remaining in a safe atmosphere.

As the sun went down… we could begin to see the orange glow of the lava making it’s way down the hillside.

Once the sun was completely down… you could see a nice flow from the top of the mountain down to the bottom of the hill.

It was a great day and evening for the mainland folks and they were treated to the award winning Kaleo’s Restaurant in Pahoa for dinner.

The media folks will be heading over to the other side of the island in the next few days to see some of the cheap and free things to do on that side of the island… it was great to meet them and I look forward to reading their media write ups on the Big Island when they return home.

Media Release:

Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater floor collapse followed by middle east rift zone eruption

USGS Image of Pu'u 'O'o Floor Collapse

At 1:42 p.m. HST this afternoon, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) monitoring network detected the onset of rapid deflation at Pu‘u ‘O‘o and increased tremor along Kilauea Volcano’s middle east rift zone.  At 2:00 p.m., Kilauea’s summit also began to deflate.

Between 2:16 and 2:21 p.m., the floor of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater began to collapse, and within 10 minutes, incandescent ring fractures opened on the crater floor a few tens of meters away from the crater wall. As the floor continued to drop, lava appeared in the center of the crater floor, the northeast spatter cone within Pu‘u ‘O‘o collapsed, and an obvious scarp developed on the west side of the crater floor, with lava cascading over the scarp toward the center of the crater.

At 2:41 p.m., the scarp on the west side of the crater floor appeared to disintegrate, exposing incandescent rubble.  Five minutes later, the collapse of a large block along the east crater wall produced a dust plume.

Webcam images showed that the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater floor continued to drop through 4:26 p.m., when fume obscured the camera view.  HVO Webcam images can be accessed at


Coincident with the collapse in Pu‘u ‘O‘o, an earthquake swarm began along Kilauea’s middle east rift zone in the area of Maka`opuhi and Napau Craters.  Tiltmeters showed east rift zone deflation, which continues as of this writing.

At 5:15 p.m., an HVO geologist flying over Kilauea’s middle east zone reported “an eruption in Napau Crater.”  The eruption is now known to be located between Napau Crater and Pu‘u ‘O‘o.

Updates on the status of this eruption will be posted on HVO’s Web site at

According to Jim Kauahikaua, HVO’s Scientist-in-Charge, “This event is remarkably similar to a 1997 eruption in and near Napau Crater, which lasted less than 24 hours.”

Kilauea’s summit also continues to deflate, and the lava lake level within the Halema‘uma‘u Crater vent continues to drop, facilitating rockfalls from the vent wall.

In response to the current volcanic conditions, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Chain of Craters Road and all east rift zone and coastal trails, along with the Kulanaokuaiki campground, until further notice.

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

The USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit

Hawaii: Kaimu Beach & Queens Bath 1986

Center for Study of Active Volcanoes:

Rare footage of the Big Island in 1986 & 1987: Kaimu Black Sand Beach & Queens Bath, BEFORE lava.

In 1986, Hurricane Estelle sent huge waves over roads along the Puna coastline. High-quality Beta tape was used to document the damage; in the process, footage of beloved Kaimu Beach was included. Then, in 1987, Kapaahu residents needed to evacuate as lava flows approached; again, events were recorded on Beta tapes, including Queens Bath.

The Beta tapes have been carefully edited to show only the beauty of this magnificent coastline, before lava flows covered the area. This video shows no burning houses, no roads getting covered, no ocean entry. There is only a single second of lava.

Everything was shot in 1987, except for the Hurricane Estelle footage of 1986, which runs from 00:23 to 01:14. Reference points: Kaimu Black Sand Beach begins at 00:00. Drainpipes surfing area is at 00:44. Harry K Brown Park is at 00:59. Queens Bath begins at 1:51.


Lava Viewing Area Now Open Three Hours Earlier

Media Release:

The popular and FREE Kalapana Lava Viewing Area in coastal Puna is now open three hours earlier, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, last car allowed in at 8 p.m. The County of Hawai’i enlisted private security firm, Jan Guard Hawaii, to begin management of the area last month. Currently, lava is not reaching the ocean, but a new trail allows visitors to hike out to view the mesmerizing glow and movement – conditions permitting – of the slow-moving surface flow above the pali (cliffs).

Visitors should wear sturdy, closed-toe athletic shoes or hiking boots, bring plenty of drinking water, and carry a flashlight if planning to stay after dark. Call the Kalapana Lava Viewing Hotline (808) 961-8093 for current conditions or visit for Kīlauea Volcano eruption updates.

So We Had Another Earthquake… Lucky We Live in Paradise

I was on the road today when I got the civil defense message that there was a 3.4 earthquake registered off Kalapana today.

Living here in Hawaii close to all the possible natural disasters that could possibly happen here… I still honestly can say there is no better place in the world to be… lucky we live in paradise!

The Coolest Damn Lava Video You Will Ever See

David Beliën set out for a quest to Hawaii to attempt to Blow a Lava Bubble instead of glass. To do so he had to get beyond the normal viewing area. Nice detail is that afterwords Pele trembled and shook… we had to get out of there…… VERY quick. Luckily nothing happened.


3.0 Earthquake Just Shakes Kalapana

A minor earthquake occurred at 9:34:31 PM (HST) on Thursday, November 19, 2009 .
The magnitude 3.0 event occurred 6 km (4 miles) S of Kalapana.
The hypocentral depth is 42 km (26 miles).

More Here

3.2 Earthquake Registered Near Kalapana

A minor earthquake occurred at 11:15:02 PM (HST) on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 .
The magnitude 3.2 event occurred 9 km (5 miles) S of Kalapana.
The hypocentral depth is 42 km (26 miles).

More here

Police Looking for Thugs Who Assault and Steal Moped From Lady on H-130 Near Kalapana

Media Release

The Hawaii Police Department is requesting the public’s help in identifying a pair of males who were last seen in the Kalapana area in the early evening hours of January 13.

At approximately 7:15 p.m., a 22-year-old woman was riding her moped southbound on Route 130 near the 17-mile marker when she was stopped by a red newer-model Honda sedan. A local male exited the front passenger seat and started yelling at her. He struck her twice on the side of her head and pushed her to the ground. He then drove off with the victim’s moped, following the red Honda, which continued traveling southbound on Route 130.

The suspect is described as a local male, 5-foot-11 to 6-feet tall, 170-180 pounds with a short-trimmed mustache.

Police ask anyone with information on this case call Lieutenant Mitchell Kanehailua at 961-2252 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Kalapana Lava Viewing Site Hours to Change

Media Release

The County of Hawaii is adjusting viewing hours at the Kalapana lava viewing site.

Beginning Sunday, February 1, the viewing site will be open daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Cost considerations resulted in the decision to cut three afternoon viewing hours that had the least number of visitors over the past nine months, said County Finance Director Nancy Crawford. Visitor arrivals at the viewing site are lowest until about 5 p.m., and they peak at around 7 p.m., Crawford said.

Visitors must enter the viewing area parking lot before 8 p.m. to allow time to hike to the viewing site and back before 10 p.m.

The lava viewing site was opened to the public on March 8, 2008. Through December, 241,806 people visited the site.

The County’s cost to operate the site, including salaries and wages, supplies, toilets, security, phones and other equipment, amounted to $362,006 for the period July through December 2008.

The viewing site is available at no charge to visitors. A voluntary donation box is located at the trailhead.

Visitors should be aware that conditions can change rapidly and that viewing will be closed should any changes occur that will threaten visitors’ safety. A Lava Hotline is updated daily and confirms whether the lava viewing site will be open that day. The telephone number for the Hotline is (808) 961-8093.

4.0 Earthquake Rocks Kalapana in Early Morning Hours

A light earthquake occurred at 2:55:09 AM (HST) on Saturday, January 17, 2009 .
The magnitude 4.0 event occurred 8 km (5 miles) SSW of Kalapana.
The hypocentral depth is 38 km (24 miles).

Magnitude 4.0 – duration magnitude (Md)
Time Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 2:55:09 AM (HST)
Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 12:55:09 (UTC)
Distance from Kalapana – 8 km (5 miles) SSW (201 degrees)
Ka`ena Point – 14 km (9 miles) E (83 degrees)
Pu`u `O`o Crater – 16 km (10 miles) SE (136 degrees)
Hilo – 50 km (31 miles) S (170 degrees)
Coordinates 19 deg. 17.4 min. N (19.291N), 155 deg. 0.3 min. W (155.005W)
Depth 38.2 km (23.7 miles)

More here