Coast Guard Establishes Temporary Safety Zone in Vicinity of Active Kilauea Lava Flow

The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the navigable waters surrounding the Kilauea Volcano active lava flow entry into the Pacific Ocean on the southeast side of the Big Island, Hawai’i, Tuesday.

The temporary safety zone will encompass all waters extending 300 meters (984 feet) in all directions around the entry of the lava flow into the ocean from noon March 28 to 8 a.m. Sept. 28.  Experts from the U.S. Geological Survey recommend 300 meters as the minimum safe distance to avoid hazards from the lava flow.

The Coast Guard has taken action to ensure public safety because of the danger the unstable sea cliff, volcanic shrapnel, toxic gases and potential bench collapses pose to vessel traffic and the public. As long as lava enters the ocean, further sea cliff degradation, hazardous conditions, delta construction and collapse are likely to occur.  These collapses occur with little to no warning and cannot be predicted.

According to the HVO, large and dense fragments ejected during delta collapses can be thrown in all directions from the point of collapse, including out to sea.  Based on a review of nearly 30 years of delta collapse and ejecta distance observations in HVO records, a radius of 300 meters was determined as a reasonable minimum high hazard zone around a point of ocean entry.

A Broadcast Notice to Mariners has been issued via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the safety zone. Entry of vessels or people into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Honolulu or his designated representative.

To view documents in the Federal Register mentioned in this release, go to, type USCG-2017-0172 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. It may take up to five days for documents to publish in the Federal Register, once published public comments may be submitted for a period of 60 days.

The Coast Guard is also issuing a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to establish a permanent Safety Zone for this region. We solicit feedback from the public on this rule making process. You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2017-0234 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at

Written Comments: Written public comments will be accepted on or before 11:59 p.m. June 3, 2017, via The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically; however, written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

Oral Comments: The Coast Guard will provide the public an opportunity to make oral comments by holding a public meeting on May 08, 2017, at 5 p.m. at the East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi St. #7, Hilo, Hawaii 96720.

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.

Highway 130 to be Repaired After Lava Crosses – No Guarantee on Fix

With the lava less then 1 mile from crossing Highway 130 here in Pahoa, Senator Russell Ruderman posted the following on Facebook this morning:

Highway 130 repairs!
Big news regarding the highway and lava. The State DOT is planning to ‘repair’ the highway within a week or two if lava crosses highway. This will involve layers of cinder and a gravel roadbed, and if needed, the truck-bed platform that Bryson Kuwohara has proposed. This is wonderful news, meaning we can expect some normalcy soon after if lava breaches the highway. While there is no guarantee, I have a lot of confidence that the state DOT is taking its responsibility to keep Puna accesible seriously, and that their engineers are looking kindly on this plan.

HELCO Attempts to Protect Power Poles From Lava Flow

Hawaii Electric Light continues to work closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other agencies to monitor and evaluate the lava flow and has put into action the plans that are appropriate for this stage, including:

  • Pole protection measures were installed on four poles along Apaa Street. The poles were partially encased with heat resistant and dispersive material to protect them from the heat generated by the lava.
  • A large diesel generator was relocated to the Kapoho area to provide an alternate source of generation should the flow isolate the area from the island-wide power grid.
  • The distribution line extension construction continues on Government Beach Road as an alternate means to provide power to Hawaiian Beaches should the existing power distribution lines become inoperable.
HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the telephone poles on Cemetery Road.  (Click to enlarge)

HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the poles on Cemetery Road. As of 2 PM, the flow was only 135 m (approximately 150 yards) from Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St., which spans this photo. HELCO crews can be seen working to protect utility poles along the road. (Click to enlarge)

“The safety of our community and employees is our top priority,” said spokesperson Kristen Okinaka. “We’re working closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and have taken the necessary steps to protect our facilities.”

Hawaii Electric Light advises customers who are planning to move and would like to discontinue or transfer their electric service to call (808) 969-6999. In the event evacuation is necessary before electric service has been removed, the company recommends customers:

  • Shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch;
  • Unplug or turn off electric equipment and appliances.

As there are new developments, updates will be provided to the media and public and also posted on Hawaii Electric Light’s website (, Twitter (@HIElectricLight), and Facebook ( accounts.

Governor Issues Executive Order Turning Over State-Owned Portion of Chain of Craters Road to Hawaii County

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today issued an executive order that turns over 3.68 miles of the state-owned portion of Chain of Craters Road near Kalapana to Hawaii County.

Chain of Craters

The executive order states that the land is “hereby turned over to the County of Hawaii, in fee simple, for use as a county highway, and the County of Hawaii shall hereafter be responsible for its repair and maintenance as a county highway.”

On Sept. 15, Gov. Abercrombie signed a supplemental emergency proclamation to include the repair, restorations, rebuilding, or reestablishment of Chain of Craters Road, for use as an alternate emergency route should the June 27th lava flow cross Highway 130 near Pahoa and isolate communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County. That proclamation, a supplement to the original emergency proclamation signed on Sept. 5, also extended the disaster emergency relief period through Dec. 1, 2014.

The original proclamation suspended certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activated the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.


Lava Smoke and Steam Now Visible From All Over East Hawaii

Puna and in particular the city of Pahoa is battening down the hatches as this lava flow approaches our district.

Here is a picture from my front yard this morning around 6:15 this morning:

The orange color is the reflection of the lava off the smoke that is being created from the flow.

The orange color is the reflection of the lava off the smoke that is being created from the flow.

To put things in perspective… here is a picture that Pahoa Resident Alan Lakritz took from the Honoli’i area of Hilo looking across the bay at the smoke and steam:

Lakritz stated on Facebook,  "The "Plume of Smoke and Steam" over Pahoa and Lower Puna as viewed from Honoli'i Pali ,which is on the north side of Hilo town headed up the Hamakua Coast"

Lakritz stated on Facebook, “The “Plume of Smoke and Steam” over Pahoa and Lower Puna as viewed from Honoli’i Pali ,which is on the north side of Hilo town headed up the Hamakua Coast”


Lava Flow Reaches Forest Boundary – Lava Lake Activity Continues

The June 27 flow continues to advance at a brisk rate, and has reached the forest boundary over the past week.


Click to enlarge

On Wednesday’s overflight, thick plumes of smoke from burning vegetation partially obscured the flow front.  See the “maps” link above for Wednesday’s flow field map.

A wider view of the flow front, looking east. The June 27 flow is the lighter-colored lava passing through the center of the photograph.  Click to Enlarge

A wider view of the flow front, looking east. The June 27 flow is the lighter-colored lava passing through the center of the photograph. Click to Enlarge

The usual lava lake activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater with no major changes related to the recent hurricane.


Click to Enlarge

Yesterday the lake surface was about 40 meters (130 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, which has been typical over the past several weeks. Lake surface migration was from north to south (top of photo to bottom), and occasional gas bubbles were bursting through the crust.

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.


New Video of the Kilauea Eruption and Lava Flow on the Big Island

Video of the recent Kilauea eruption.  As you can see… it’s flowing pretty good right now!


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.