Volcano news - Archive Nr. 19

For the latest part of this report - Click here


Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update May 9 - 14:32 UTC)
Video from the Hawaian Civil Defense with the current eruption situation and instructions for people from the evacuated zone.

May 9


Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update May 7 - 16:09 UTC)
No better way to watch the extend of the fissure eruption than from a Paradise helicopters seat. Mick Kalber was on board and this is his comment and his great video.
The Leilani Estates Subdivision on the East side of the Big Island (Puna) is literally being ripped apart. This morning's fissure eruption was by far the largest we've seen so far... starting just above Luana St, she crossed Leilani Ave, and poured lava into a group of homes to the North. Generally, these fissure outbreaks have begun violently, and quit quickly... but this one appears to be an exception. The fountains were carrying lava over two hundred feet into the air in a spectacular display! In the 40 minutes we were there, we watched her destroy two homes, and there were any number of others in close proximity. We will update the situation tomorrow morning. Mahalo to Paradise Helicopters, and their fine pilot Sean Regehr. Bruce Omori and I had our work cut out for us documenting today's activity, but Sean made it a lot easier! Mahalo nui loa, Paradise!!!

May 6, 2018 HUGE Fissure Eruption from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Historic eruptions: La Soufriere (St Vincent & the Grenadines) + Mount Pelee (Martinique), Lesser Antilles (Philippa)
7th and 8th May mark the anniversary of not one, but two major volcanic eruptions which occurred on islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean in 1902.

After around 15 months of heightened seismic activity in the area, the eruption of La Soufriere on the island of St Vincent began with phreatic (steam-generated) activity on 6th May. Fish sellers, who as usual were crossing the 'hill' at around 6 p.m. that evening to get from Chateaubelair (on the downwind side of the island) to Georgetown, i.e. just before the eruptions began, felt shaking, heard rumbling, and recalled that there was a stronger than normal smell of sulfur. They also noticed that the colour of the crater lake had changed colour, and was in parts red rather than its normal milky or green-blue colour.

The climactic phase of the La Soufriere eruption started at around 12 noon on 7th May and continued for around 17 hours.

This fantastic weblink, written by local resident Calvin Terry Gooding, has pulled together the eyewitness accounts that were given by local inhabitants at that time to (famous volcanologist / photographer) Tempest Anderson and John S Fellt. Calvin's webpage also includes maps of the island of St Vincent so that you can gain an understanding of which areas were affected and which were not:

http://www.georgetownsvgrevisited.co.uk/la-soufriere-1902-eruption.php

Images of La Soufriere (post eruption), damaged house and vegetation in Orange Hill, and clearing of volcanic ash fall from a yard in Georgetown
- by Tempest Anderson / Yorkshire Museum - via Jazmin Scarlett (@scarlett_jazmin)

Around 1,680 people perished during the 1902 eruption of La Soufriere, which after the climactic phase, continued sporadically until April 1903. It is not clear though if all of these people died in the immediate blast, or if some of these people perished later due to injuries, in particular burns to the skin and lungs, or if some of these people perished due to lahars that were generated later when heavy rains remobilized volcanic ash, or if some of these deaths were caused by starvation due to the destruction of crops and livestock.

To try and understand this 1902 eruption from a geological perspective, pits have been dug near to the Wallibou River on the west coast of St Vincents to examine the stratigraphy, i.e. layering of eruptive products in the ground. What this geological investigation shows is that there were phases of both phreatic- (steam-driven) and phreato-magmatic (interaction of hot magma with cold water) activity, which caused a series of explosive eruptions in 1902. The base layer is 15 cm thick and exclusively consists of roof tiles which were blown off nearby buildings by the initial blast. The layers above this in the stratigraphy alternate between surge deposits, i.e. there were pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) caused from eruption columns collapsing and avalanching, which rapidly deposited materials, followed by accretionary lapilli formed from ash clumping around larger erupted particles in the presence of water, followed by scoria (cinder), which are larger fragments of lava erupted. The base of the flow consists of carbonised and non-carbonised wood, i.e. building timber and vegetation which were destroyed by the eruption and entrained into PDCs and subsequent lahars.

The eruption of Mount Pelee on 8th May on the island of Martinique, which is within the same group of islands as St Vincent, was even bigger than the eruption of La Soufriere. 30,000 people perished, mostly as a result of the initial blast and pyroclastic density currents sweeping through and destroying the city of Saint Pierre. Prisoner Louis-Auguste Cyparis was one of the very few people to survive, albeit with skin burns, thanks to the protection of the jail cell he was in.

The Mount Pelee eruption was considered to be one of the worst volcanic disasters of the 20th Century.

Kilauea volcano and Leilani Estates Subdivision fissure eruptions, Big Island, Hawaii, USA (Philippa)
The latest reports from both the US Geological Survey (USGS) / Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) and the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency (HCCDA) state that there have now been 10 observed fissure eruptions (lava fountaining from cracks) within the Leilani Estates Subdivision in the Puna area of south eastern Big Island. The latest fissure eruption occurred near the intersection of Malama and Pomaikai Streets.

As of yesterday evening, new cracks had opened up and were emitting thick steam and volcanic gases near to fissures # 8 and 9. As we know from yesterday's Earthquake-Report.com featuring the video statement from HVO's Scientist-In-Charge, this would appear to be a potential pre-cursor for another fissure eruption.

Meanwhile, fissure # 8 was reported to have ceased lava fountaining by around 4 p.m. HST yesterday. However, an a'a lava flow originating from this fissure has extended to a distance of around 1.1 km.

via Bruce Houghton / USGS

Geologists from HVO yesterday conducted observations and took samples of the lava spatter for analysis in the laboratory. By examining the composition of this lava and comparing it to other samples collected over time from Kilauea volcano, this will inform them of changes within the magmatic system, including the residency time, i.e. how long this fresh batch of magma from the so-called 'hot spot' (mantle plume) under Big Island accumulated for before overflowing from the lava lakes at the summit area and Pu'u O'o vent, before migrating further down the East Rift Zone (ERZ) and erupting from the fissures in Puna.

via HVO / USGS - HVO geologists collecting spatter samples from fissure #10 near the intersection of Malama & Pomaikai Streets

Note that the volcanologists are wearing the appropriate clothing and safety gear for this fieldwork, including a hard hat to protect against any impacts from pyroclasts ('hot rocks' being spat out by the fissure), a gas mask to avoid inhaling the noxious volcanic gases (particularly sulfur dioxide, chlorines, and fluorines, which can be particularly irritating to the respiratory system), sunglasses (to avoid irritation to the eyes from the volcanic fumes), sturdy hiking boots, and clothing made of natural fibres (less likely to catch fire and/or melt if hit by a pyroclast). Normally they would also wear leather gloves whilst handling the rocks to avoid burns and cuts to the hand (I know this from experience whilst volunteering at HVO 10 years ago; I burned my finger tips picking up a shiny black rock without wearing gloves).

via HVO / USGS - HVO geologists surveying and making observations near fissures 5 and 6 on Leilani Avenue

The latest report from the HCCDA states that a total of 26 homes within the Leilani Estates Subdivision have now been destroyed by the fissure eruptions. Evacuations remain in place (see the links in yesterday's post to a live, interactive map showing evacuated areas and road closures). However, depending on the conditions, some residents may be allowed back briefly between the hours of 7.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m., but only to check on properties, and to collect any remaining pets, medications, and vital documents. This access may change at short notice though depending on developments of new fissures, the amount of noxious volcanic fumes being emitted, further earthquakes, and so on.

Further news from HCCDA regarding the evacuations:

  • The Department of Water Supply are working with HCCDA to re-establish a temporary by-pass waterline to restore supplies to the makai lower Puna areas of Pohoiki, Vacationland, and Kapaho. A water truck has also been made available for this area.
  • The Department of Education has announced that Pahoa High, Intermediate, and Elementary School will be open today. However, Kua O Kala, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences, Nawahiokalaani Opu'u, and Ke Ana Lalahana will be closed today.
  • There will be zero tolerance from the HCCDA and Police Department to any vandalism

We will post further updates as these are published.

Steamboat Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA (Philippa)
The world's largest geyser, Steamboat Geyser, started erupting again last week, and amazingly was caught on camera.

via NOLA.com / YouTube

The Geyser Gazers group on Facebook report that Steamboat was still erupting as of yesterday, albeit not as strongly as last week. This is still a much stronger and longer lasting eruption compared to the last time it erupted in August 2013. Its duration indicates that there has been a much bigger recharge (i.e. volume) of water, which accumulated and super heated to above boiling point under the pressure of being underground before there was a critical tipping point leading to eruption.

If you are visiting Yellowstone National Park at the moment, go see Steamboat Geyser erupting whilst you can!

Volcan Chaiten, Chile (Philippa)
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the eruption of Chaiten volcano in Northern Patagonia, Chile.

This particular volcano is particularly special to your's truly. In November 2016 I spent a week in Chaiten with a group of other volcanologists from around the world to meet some of the inhabitants of the town, to see the volcano crater and deposits of its eruptive products, and to see the aftermath of this eruption and the clear-up operation several years on.

Prior to its eruption, nobody knew about Chaiten volcano's existence, including the local residents. The town of Chaiten had only been inhabited (by European settlers to Chile) for less than 200 years, and the volcano had not erupted during that time. To the local residents, it was merely a big hill. When earthquakes started occurring during the 2 weeks beforehand, gradually increasing in intensity, people knew that these were not just regional earthquakes that Chile is so prone to, being on a subduction zone. It was only the older residents that suspected these may be volcano related, but with a much bigger, glacial-covered Michinmahuida volcano in mind, which they had heard about in folk lore. Not knowing what was going on, people were very scared.

Chaiten, which is actually a feeder vent from Michinmahuida rather than a separate volcano, finally erupted in early May 2008. This tv news feature (in Chilean Spanish) shows a group of fool-hardy climbers going up to the summit to take a closer look:

via Diario Chileno / YouTube

This next video (below) - without sound - shows the eruption plume from further away.

via Barijuano / YouTube

The eruption itself was only the start of worse to come.

Heavy rainfall several days later remobilized the volcanic ash and debris from this eruption, washing it downstream along a river valley, first creating a lahar, and then flooding, which completely cut the town of Chaiten into two.

Incredibly, local residents had managed to (self-)evacuate via boat with only one loss of life, an elderly person who suffered a heart attack as a result of the shock of the situation. However, pets, livestock, and all belongings had had to be left behind, with most people re-locating to the town of Puerto Montt (about an hour's flight away).

People had to start over again in terms of their livelihoods and homes. Residents were not allowed to return until 6 months later, and this was just for an hour in order to collect a few belongings. Many found that their homes had completely washed away or were destroyed beyond repair.

This video interview with a former police officer from Chaiten shows how the town looks now. (In Chilean Spanish with English subtitles)

via Marca Chile / YouTube

A few years later, there were attempts by the Chilean government of the time to resettle the inhabitants of Chaiten. A site was selected further along the coast, which they deemed suitable. The inhabitants rejected the plans though. The commissioned architect was proposing modern style homes, which jarred with the residents, whose forefathers had established the original town of Chaiten with German-styles homes with wood shingle roofs. Having visited the proposed site, I would have rejected the site myself, but because the curved bay would have made the new town prone to destruction from tsunamis.

The government eventually allowed those who wished to return to Chaiten to do so, but only to the northern part of the town, which has been partially cleared and utilities re-established. The southern part of the town is still deemed unsafe, but squatters have now moved in. Realistically, neither side of Chaiten town is safe from a future eruption of either Chaiten volcano or Michinmahuida, not to mention more lahars or flooding. Only some of the residents have chosen to return, feeling that it was their duty to try and re-establish the town. Others felt too scared and have permanently moved away.

View of Corcovado (another volcano in the area) from a new guest house in the re-established part of Chaiten town. We were lucky to get this view. Most of the days during our visit there were torrential down pours - via Philippa Demonte

On another side of Chaiten volcano, an American philanthropist and owner of a famous outdoor clothing company - Douglas Tompkins - bought swathes of land in this beautiful part of Northern Patagonia. Paying to bring in heavy duty machinery, he got local residents and employees involved in a mass clean-up of the volcanic ash and debris, and established Parque Pumalin. The area includes a camp site, which cleverly was built on flattened mounds of the cleared volcanic ash, upon which grass turf was seeded.

via Philippa Demonte - views from Parque Pumalin

At the time of our visit, the staff were working to gain national park status. However, last year there was sadly a massive landslide, which destroyed a neighbouring village, killing around 300 people, and completely blocking part of the Carretera Austral, the highway which runs along the length of Chile, and which the park is dependent upon for visitors. All the Chilenos we met are amazingly resilient and reflective of 'natural' disasters, including the eruption of Chaiten, but the landslide was a reminder of how tough an environment this is to live in.

May 7, 2018


Kilauea volcano, Big Island, Hawaii, USA (Philippa) (Update: 21:00 UTC)
There have now been 9 reported fissure (crack) eruptions of lava within the Leilani Estates area of Puna in the south / south-eastern area of Big Island, Hawaii since 2nd May 2018. The latest reported eruptions occurred yesterday (5th May) around 12.26 p.m. local time on Poihoiki Road, and overnight between Leilani and Malama Street near Luana and Kupono Streets.

Tina Neal, who is the Scientist-In-Charge at the US Geological Survey's (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), headed this local residents meeting and press conference yesterday. Please take the time to watch this, as she clearly explains the current eruptive situation and the monitoring scientists' understanding thus far of these events. The video also includes footage and images from the eruptions around Leilani Estates.

via Big Island Video News / YouTube

Just to explain: the summit area of Kilauea volcano (Halema'uma'u Crater and lava lake), Pu'u O'o vent, and the area of the fissure eruptions in the Leilani Estates subdivision are connected by the East Rift Zone. A rift zone is just an area of the Earth's crust that is being pulled apart due to up-welling magma. This action is detected by using seismometers, GPS (global positioning systems), and satellite InSAR to monitor the Earthquakes and deformation (inflation / deflation) of the flanks of Kilauea volcano generated by these intrusions and movement of magma within the system.

Maps showing an overview of all the Earthquakes on the southern part of Big Island from this past week. The first image is a plan view; the second image is a cross-section with depth (km). Notice how the majority of this week's earthquakes have been at 10 km depth or less, which are shallow depths beneath the surface.

via Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

(https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/monitoring_data1.html)

The fissure eruptions are being caused by what is known as a dyke intrusion, an off-shoot from the East Rift Zone, in which magma has broken through a weakness in the earth as a vertical up-welling and reached the surface.

This latest up-welling of magma is causing instability in the flanks of Kilauea volcano, which are manifesting as large Earthquakes, including the M6.9 Earthquake which occurred on Friday 4th May. As Tina explains in the video, there will be large aftershocks for several weeks to come until the system re-stabilized.

Tina also explains that there are likely to be more fissure eruptions within the area. The trends that the monitoring scientists have determined are as follows:

  • cracks open within the ground, which initially do not emit steam or heat
  • increased seismicity (Earthquake activity) and deformation are detected
  • the cracks start to emit white, hot vapors and blue fumes (indicative of high levels of sulfur dioxide)
  • lava breaches the surface, creating large lava bubble bursts, spattering, and lava fountaining, which thus far has been up to 70 m at its highest
  • the activity forms lava ramparts ~2m high, and some, but not all, of the fissures have had short-lived lava flows.
  • each fissure eruption on average last for a few hours before ceasing, and then a new fissure opens elsewhere

There is no way of forecasting how many more fissure eruptions or for how long the activity in the Leilani Estates will continue for. HVO are continuing to vigilantly monitor the situation.

Local residents should remain alert, review their individual**, family and business emergency plans, and follow active updates from Hawaii County Civil Defense pertaining to evacuations.

http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/

...and also an HCCD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hawaiicountycivildefense/

** This includes evacuation plans for pets, and remembering to pack any necessary medications and vital documents upfront of evacuation.

There is now also a live interactive map for local residents showing the locations of the eruptive fissures, road closures, and affected subdivision areas, but please be aware that this is slow to load due to the current amount of online traffic to the website:

https://gis.hawaiicounty.gov/arcgisportal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=63b5a013e3154387a6466ad51845503e

Message to local residents from utility partners via Hawaii County Civil Defense:

  • Stay away from downed or low-hanging power cables. Assume that these are still live
  • Do not plug generators into household electrical outlets, as this can cause dangerous back-feed into the electricity grid
  • Hawaii Gas are working closely with Civil Defense to safely remove propane gas tanks from the area. If you need to contact them about this issue, there is a 24/7 hotline to call: (808) 935 0021

Tourists to Big Island, please stay away from this area of Puna so as to a) avoid putting yourselves in unnecessary danger, and b) in order to avoid impeding the work of HVO and Civil Defense, particularly where evacuations of local residents are in operation.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on Kilauea, as reported below, the lava lake levels both within the summit area and at the Pu'u O'o vent have dropped considerably as a result of the lava migrating along the East Rift Zone to the site of the fissure eruptions. The webcam shot (below) taken earlier today indicates that the a drop in levels by ~128m at the summit lava lake compared to a week ago when the lava breached and flowed onto the floor of the crater.

via Hawaiian Volcano Observatory / USGS

Meanwhile, this footage (below) shot yesterday by a helicopter overflight from a news crew shows Pu'u O'o crater yesterday.

via Lynn Kawano (@LynnKawano)

https://twitter.com/LynnKawano/status/992540282900987904

The red-brown ash plumes which were generated at both sites this past week following the M6.9 Earthquake were caused by parts of the crater walls collapsing into the lower-level lava lakes, causing volcanic gases within the lava to be perturbed and the vents to choke and then blow out.

via Mileka Lincoln (@MilekaLincoln)

Update regarding Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (23:00 UTC - Philippa)
The National Park was closed yesterday whilst National Park Services were surveying and assessing damage caused to buildings and trails following Friday's large Earthquake. There was a possibility that parts of the park might have been re-opened to visitors today, but check National Park Service's website and social media sites before visiting:

https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

May 7


Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 17:38 UTC)
Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
: The n the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Fissure 7 stopped erupting in mid-afternoon. A new fissure erupted this evening near fissures 2 and 7, and lava fountains reached as high as about 70 m (230 ft). Early this morning, new ground cracks were reported on Highway 130, but no heat or escaping steam was subsequently observed. Seismicity and deformation are consistent with continued accumulation of magma within the rift zone.
HVO geologists will be in the area overnight to track and report to Hawaii County Civil Defense on the activity, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity using various monitoring data streams.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit : Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past several days. Satellite InSAR data show that between April 23 and May 5, 2018, the summit caldera floor subsided about 10 cm (4 in). Corresponding to this deflationary trend, the summit lava lake level in Overlook crater has dropped about 128 m (518 ft) below the crater rim since April 30. Rockfalls from the crater walls into the retreating lake produced ashy plumes above Halemaumau crater today, resulting in light ashfall in the summit area. Rockfalls and ashy plumes are expected to continue as the lake level drops. Earthquake activity in the summit increased in the past 2 days, coincident with the magnitude-6.9 earthquake on May 4 beneath the south flank of Kīlauea. In the past two days, about 152 magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 earthquakes occurred at depths less than 5 km (3 miles) beneath the summit area. Twenty two magnitude 3 earthquakes were recorded. These earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and beneath the south flank of the volcano.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 09:05 UTC)
Mick Kalber : This is a killer video! And was the last ground level shots I was able to get before I had to evacuate. Consequently, I have had the time or the machinery to be able to post to FB lately. The second outbreak occurred early the previous night at Makamae St and Leilani Ave... the third began on Kaupili St just after sunrise the morning of May 4th. With the help of Ikaika Marzo, I was able to shoot some amazing video of the spattering on Kaupili Street... check it out!

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 08:50 UTC)
Hawaii M6.9 earthquake information poster
The ultimate explanatory earthquake poster from this earthquake comes from geologist Dr. Jay Patton. Click on the image to be linked to his site. The poster contains lots of important scientific information and can be viewed in full format in his site. Dr Jay Patton is gifted with the ability to translate hard to understand scientific material into easy, everyday language (through texts and images).

May 6


Hawaii update 10:30 UTC:  MustWatch - Interesting video from a local TV-station
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/clip/14325859/massive-quake-eruptions-prompts-state-of-emergency-on-big-island

Cleveland volcano, Alaska
Satellite data show that the recent explosion of Cleveland volcano at 05:49 UTC (21:49 local time) produced a small ash cloud up to 22,000 ft asl moving southeast. No other significant activity has been detected.
Explosions from Cleveland typically produce relatively small volcanic ash clouds that dissipate within hours; however, more significant ash emissions are possible.
Cleveland volcano is monitored with a limited real-time seismic network, which inhibits AVO's ability to detect precursory unrest that may lead to an explosive eruption. Rapid detection of an ash-producing eruption may be possible using a combination of seismic, infrasound, lightning, and satellite data.

Hawaii update 08:33 UTC:  This amateur video (everybody is a journalist these days) shows very well how a fissure eruption is starting.
The video shows at the same time the lava spatter on the road from a nearby vent. The man got scared at the beginning seeing this, but contibued then on his path.
THE MAKER OF THIS VIDEO IS RISKING HIS LIFE as a vent could open at any moment severely injuring or killing him. Let the video be a lesson that you should never even think of doing the same.

Hawaii update 08:19 UTC: USGS situation report 02:02 - Eruption of lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Several additional eruptive fissures or vents - each several hundred yards long - have opened over the past day. No significant lava flows have yet formed. Spatter and lava are accumulating primarily within a few tens of yards of the vent.
The sixth and most recent fissure is on the eastern edge of the subdivision. Not all fissure vents remain active and no far-traveled lava flows have formed.
HVO geologists will be in the area overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity using various monitoring data streams.
Seismicity and deformation are consistent with continued accumulation of magma within the rift zone. Additional outbreaks of lava are expected.

Hawaii update 00:56 UTC: The Hilo Downtown Post Office, located in the Hilo Federal Building at 154 Waianuenue Avenue, has been temporarily closed. The entire building was shut down due to structural concerns in the wake of the earthquakes that have accompanied the eruption. Beginning Saturday, May 5, and until further notice, Hilo Downtown’s PO Box customers are asked to pick up their mail over the counter at the Hilo Main Post Office at 1299 Kekuanaoa Street. A line in the Main Post Office’s lobby will be dedicated to those customers.

Due to the expansion of the eruption, residents of now-inaccessible Pahoa-Kapoho Road, Papaya Farms, Vacationland, Kapoho Beach, Kapoho-Kalapana Road, Seaview, Puna Palisades, Kehena, Kalapana Shores, Uncle Roberts, Kalapana-Pahoa Road, Chain of Craters Road, and Black Sands are now being asked to pick up their mail from the Pahoa Post Office at 15-2859 Pahoa Village Road.

Hawaii update 00:39 UTC:

Hawaii update 00:27 UTC:
Just an hour after a large tremor Friday morning, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake shook the Big Island on Friday afternoon, sending people fleeing from buildings and community centers and increasing concerns about new eruptions in Puna's Leilani Estates.
2 large earthquakes at Kilauea felt as far away as Oahu
After eruption, residents fled with little — and don't know what they're return home to
The temblor was the largest in Hawaii since 1975, and did generate a small tsunami around the Big Island, triggering sea fluctuations that ranged from 20 cm in Hilo to 40 cm at Kapoho, Hawaii County Civil Defense said.
Dr. Charles McCreery, geophysicist-in-charge of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, said the small tsunami waves did not pose any threat but underscore the importance of vigilance as the Kilauea eruptions continue.

Hawaii update 00:10 UTC:
Hawaii Electric Light Co. Rhea Lee-Moku said there are reports of outages in Kaumana and parts of Hilo.
Four fissures have opened so far in Leilani Estates, with one remaining active as of Friday morning. At least two homes have been destroyed and the entire subdivision and Lanipuna Gardens are under a mandatory evacuation.

May 5


Hawaii update 23:34 UTC: A small tsunami may have been triggered following the GDACS measurements

Hawaii update 23:34 UTC: The M6.9 earthquake was felt as far away as Oahu! Luckily, the epicenter of the earethquake was in a unpopulated National Park area. So far we have no reports of any serious damage or injuries.

Hawaii update 23:31 UTC: The shaking map shows a very strong shaking in the National Park.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 23:19 UTC)
A very strong earthquake happened on the Kilauea slopes

Update 23:21 UTC: Many relatively powerful earthquakes in the range of M4 to M6
Multiple fissure eruptions in the Leilane estates area

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 22:27 UTC)
First video from the latest fissure eruptions

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 21:59 UTC)
Hawaii officials said two homes in one of the rural subdivisions had been burned by lava from the erupting volcano.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 21:39 UTC)
A M5.6 happened minutes ago below the East Rift area
Now updated to M5.3

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 21:34 UTC)
New map of locations of first three eruptive fissures in Leilani Estates Subdivision (Hawaii) as of this morning (May 4). Fissures are jetting sulfur dioxide gas and lava spatter.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 21:23 UTC)
An eruption is in progress along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Since late afternoon May 3, at least three small fissure vents have opened in Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower Puna district. At this time, activity consists mostly of vigorous lava spattering. Additional outbreaks in the area are likely. Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop.

Lower East Rift Zone: The first outbreak of lava occurred late in the afternoon of May 3 following days of increased earthquake activity and ground deformation. As of this morning, three separate fissures have opened in the eastern portion of Leilani Estates. Each outbreak has been preceded by ground cracking and strong gas emission. Activity consists primarily of vigorous spattering of lava and development of very short lava flows that have yet to travel more than a few tens of yards from the vent. Earthquake activity in the area remains elevated and ground deformation is continuing. High levels of volcanic gas are reported around the fissure vents.

Summit Observations: Deflationary tilt at the summit continues. In concert, the summit lava lake is dropping. Tremor amplitude is fluctuating with lava lake spattering. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Gas emissions remain elevated. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Seismicity remains elevated at Puʻu ʻŌʻō but tiltmeters near the cone show no significant deformation overnight. During fieldwork at Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday, no lava activity was observed in the area. The 61g lava flow is no longer being fed. The summit crater of the cone continues to collapse intermittently producing small plumes of ash; yesterday there were several episodes of ash emission in response to collapse, including immediately after the nearby M5.0 earthquake.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 13:22 UTC)
Seismicity since 10:00 UTC
1.3 - 3km SSW of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 12:24:05 (UTC) - 4.1 km
2.4 - 6km SSE of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 12:15:52 (UTC) - 0.3 km
2.5 - 5km ESE of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 11:58:52 (UTC) - -0.2 km
2.0 - 8km ESE of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 11:43:27 (UTC) - 5.3 km
1.9 - 5km SW of Volcano, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 11:17:31 (UTC) - -0.9 km
1.2 - 4km S of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 11:17:00 (UTC) - 4.3 km
1.2 - 4km SSW of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 11:16:44 (UTC) - 4.5 km
1.3 - 2km SSE of Leilani Estates, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 10:34:10 (UTC) - 3.5 km
2.2 - 5km WSW of Volcano, Hawaii - 2018-05-04 10:12:51 (UTC) - -0.6 km

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 13:12 UTC)
Pele Erupts in Leilani
Mick Kalber and Paradise helicopters : After all the lava drained out of the Pu'u 'O'o Vent (the main vent of the 35 year long current eruption) last Monday, the contents moved down the East rift zone, causing hundreds of earthquakes as far away as Kapoho, some 15 miles. All week, a new eruption had been forecast... cracks appeared on roadways, as the earth began to swell. And then, on Thursday afternoon, Pele (the Volcano Goddess) made her appearance in the lower part of Leilani Estates Subdivision. At first, fountains of lava shot up into the air... but within a few hours, she had settled down into a lava flow that now threatens dozens of nearby homes, and a geothermal power plant just a quarter mile downslope. The flow has slowed way down for the time being... but will most likely re-activate... or pop out again somewhere else.
Click on the image to watch the video


Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 08:49 UTC)
The eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano that began in late afternoon ended by about 6:30 p.m. HST
. Lava spatter and gas bursts erupted from the fissure for about two hours, and lava spread a short distance from the fissure, less than about 10 m (33 ft).
At this time, the fissure is not erupting lava and no other fissures have erupted.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 08:25 UTC)
Other video's worthwhile looking at :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R4Z-uAD9N0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI6V3DSwHf0
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Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 05:08 UTC)

An eruption has commenced in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano. Shortly before 5 pm, lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision. Hawaii County Civil Defense is on scene and coordinating needed response including evacuation of a portion of the Leilani subdivision.
Residents of the lower Puna District should remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano. Hawaii County Civil Defense messages may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

Recent Observations: New ground cracks were reported in Leilani Estates late this afternoon. White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. Spatter began erupting shortly before 5 pm. HVO and the County of Hawaii are on the ground and conducting overflights to further identify characterize activity and identify the direction of flowing lava.

Hazard Analysis: Areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk. The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic. Additional vents and new lava outbreaks may occur and at this time it is not possible to say where new vents may occur.

A steam / Ash plume is also rising from the Puu Oo vent but that is NOT the location of the rifteruption

May 4


Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States  (Update 21:38 UTC)
This update comes shortly after the most powerfull eartghquake so far (a M4.6 earthquake)
At 10:30 HST, ground shaking from a preliminary magnitude-5.0 earthquake south of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō caused rockfalls and possibly additional collapse into the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater on Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone.
A short-lived plume of ash produced by this event lofted skyward and is continuing to dissipate as it drifts southwest from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Anyone downwind may experience a dusting of ash.
At this time, the 10:30 earthquake has caused no other changes at Kīlauea Volcano. HVO will continue to closely watch monitoring data for any changes.
HVO has field crews working along the rift zone at this time. HVO will post additional information and photographs later today.
For seismic information, please check our in-depth earthquake page from the M4.6 earthquake

Ambae, Vanuatu
Vanuatu set to permanently evacuate island
Article published in New Zealand Herald
The Pacific nation of Vanuatu is preparing to permanently evacuate the entire population of one of its islands as thick ash spewing from a volcano kills crops, dirties water supplies and fouls the air. The 10,000 or so people who remain on Ambae island have mixed feelings about the plans. Some who are badly affected by the ash are eager to leave while others are resisting losing their land and culture.

The island was temporarily evacuated last September when the eruption cycle began. This time, authorities are planning a permanent move.
Government spokesman Hilaire Bule told The Associated Press yesterday that he expects the Council of Ministers to approve a relocation plan by next week. Bule said the islanders would be offered residence on two neighbouring islands. "It's not an easy decision," Bule said.
He said there were many details to work through, including providing schools and facilities to the displaced residents and negotiating land and new homes for them. Many people have close family and spiritual ties to the islands where they'll be relocated, Maewo and Pentecost, Bule said.
Traditional religion even has it that the islands are part of a family — Pentecost being the mother, Maewo the father and Ambae the son.
Most people on Ambae live a subsistence lifestyle by farming and fishing.
Already hundreds of people have moved to temporary shelters on parts of the island that are not so affected by the ash.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States
Video 1 shot on May 1 shortly after the collapse of the floor
Mick kalber : A quarter-mile long line of steam fissures from the Pu'u 'O'o Vent to the west leads to a HUGE brownish red plume, emanating from the vent itself, the result of the floor of the vent collapsing yesterday. The event sent red dust from the vent to the Pali. We saw only one glowing skylight downslope, and no active surface lava anywhere.

May 1, 2018 Vent Collapses!!! from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Video 2, one day later with clearer skies
Mick kalber : The complete collapse of the active vent on Kilauea's east rift zone last Monday sent an amazing ash plume skyward, and blanketed a three mile long swath of the current eruption in red dust... 61G looks like Mars! Yesterday, in very inclement weather, we managed some shots of the ash plume roiling away... today, under stunningly beautiful skies, we were able to see inside the vent. Hundreds of feet deep, we saw no lava in the vent at all... just cinders and rubble. Additionally, a half-mile long line of steamy fissures runs west from the vent... eerily reminiscent of the fissure eruption seven years ago.

May 2, 2018 Pu'u 'O'o Vent Empty! from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, United States

Update 10:02 UTC:  Elevated rates of seismicity and deformation at Kīlauea Volcano along a section of the lower East Rift Zone east of the Pu'u 'Ō'ō vent are continuing this evening. This activity is associated with the continued intrusion of magma into the East Rift Zone to locations east of Highway 130. An outbreak of lava from the lower East Rift Zone remains a possible outcome of the continued unrest. At this time it is not possible to say with certainty if or where such an outbreak may occur, but the area downrift (east) of Pu'u 'Ō'ō remains the most likely location.
Scientists of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will be on duty overnight to monitor the changing seismicity and deformation, and residents of the Puna District should remain alert

Recent Observations : Elevated earthquake activity in Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone has persisted through the day, with many reported felt events by residents. Earthquake counts have decreased slightly since midnight in the area east of Highway 130. Beginning this morning a GPS station located about 1.5 km (1 mile) southwest of Nanawale Estates began moving toward the north, indicating the magma intrusion is approaching this area of the East Rift Zone. The station has moved several cm (inches) since this morning.
A tiltmeter at Pu'u 'Ō'ō recorded steady, deflationary tilt during the day, with several sharp inflation offsets. These offsets probably recorded the continued episodic collapse of the crater floor. Some of these offsets corresponded to short-lived ashy plumes rising from the crater.
Tiltmeters at the summit began recording an increased deflationary tilt this afternoon. The summit lava lake level has lowered about 20 m (65 ft) since the deflationary tilt began in the early morning on May 1. New small ground cracks less than a few cm (inches) wide developed today across a couple of roads in and adjacent to Leilani Estates; these cracks reflect the buildup of stress at the surface due to the magma intrusion. No steam or gases were observed escaping from the cracks.
Analysis of webcam images of the 61g lava flow field on May 1 indicates that surface flows within a few kilometers (miles) of Pu'u 'Ō'ō have stopped advancing—the few areas of incandescence visible in the images did not move starting early morning on May 1. The 61g flow is likely no longer being supplied with lava from Pu'u 'Ō'ō.

Hazard Analysis : The migration of seismicity and deformation downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone following Monday's collapse indicates that a large area along the East Rift Zone is potentially at risk for a new outbreak. The location of any future outbreak will determine what areas are in the path of new lava flows. The situation continues to evolve and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists continue to closely monitor Kīlauea's East Rift Zone and summit. More updates will follow as information becomes available.

 

Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: 25 April - 1 May,  2018
Via Smithsonian Institution - Global Volcanism Program / US Geological Survey

Ibu | Halmahera (Indonesia)
PVMBG reported that at 1822 on 30 April an eruption at Ibu generated a dark gray ash plume that rose at least 500 m above the crater rim and drifted E. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4), and the public was warned to stay at least 2 km away from the active crater, and 3.5 km away on the N side.

Karymsky | Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
On 26 April KVERT reported that the last explosive event at Karymsky occurred on 27 January, and the last thermal anomaly was detected on 26 March; activity remained at a low level. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green (the lowest level on a four-color scale). Explosive activity was identified in satellite images beginning at 1825 on 28 April, prompting KVERT to raise the Alert Level to Orange. Ash plumes rose as high as 5.5 km (18,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 150 km NE.

Kilauea | Hawaiian Islands (USA)
A more recent update can be seen above this article
During 25 April-1 May HVO reported that the lava lake continued to rise, fall, and spatter in Kilauea’s Overlook crater. The lake level was high enough to produce lava flows onto the Halema'uma'u crater floor through 27 April, but afterwards fell to about 15-16 m below the new elevated rim. The lake level rose again, to just below the rim of the Overlook crater vent. Since 21 April about 2/3 of the crater floor had been covered by new lava flows.
Episode 61g lava flows were active above Pulama pali, within 2 km of the active vent. A marked increase in seismicity and ground deformation at Pu'u 'O'o Crater was detected just after 1400 on 30 April, following weeks of uplift and increasing lava levels within the cone. Within a few minutes a webcam on the crater rim recorded the first of two crater floor collapses; the second collapse began at 1520 and lasted about an hour. Thought poor weather conditions inhibited views at times, a webcam recorded what were likely small explosions from the W side of the crater as the floor collapsed. At 1800 seismicity remained elevated, though ground deformation had significantly slowed. A large amount of red ash was produced from the collapses, and deposited around the crater as well as in areas up-rift as far as Mauna Ulu.
Following the collapses of Pu'u 'O'o’s crater floor, seismicity and deformation increased along a large section of the East Rift Zone, in an area 9-16 km down-rift (with seismicity occurring as far E as highway 130), indicating an intrusion of magma. By 0830 on 1 May activity had significantly decreased. During an overflight that day a new, nearly continuous, 1-km-long crack was found on the W (up-rift) side of Pu'u 'O'o. The crack was steaming, and aligned in a segment with small pads of newly-erupted lava and spatter. Thermal images of Pu'u 'O'o Crater suggested that smaller drops of the crater floor likely continued on 1 May.

Kirishimayama | Kyushu (Japan)
JMA reported that a very small explosion at Iwo-yama (also called Ioyama, NW flank of Karakuni-dake), a stratovolcano of the Kirishimayama volcano group, occurred at 1815 on 26 April and produced a milky white plume that rose over 200 m. The event continued until around 1826. The event occurred from a fumarole in the vicinity of the highway, on the W side of Iwo-yama, first observed on 20 April. During a field survey on 30 April observers noted muddy water flowing as far as 500 m W. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5).

Kusatsu-Shiranesan | Honshu (Japan)
JMA reported that on 21 April the number of volcanic earthquakes at Yugama crater (Kusatsu-Shiranesan complex) increased and deformation was also recorded. The Alert Level for the crater area was raised to 2 (on a 5-level scale) the next day. Deformation slowed on 23 April. Seismicity decreased on 23 April though continued to be somewhat elevated, and low-frequency events were recorded on 24 April. No surficial changes were noted during an overflight on 26 April.

Marapi | Indonesia
On 27 April a phreatic eruption at Marapi produced an ash plumes that rose 300 m above the crater rim. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-4). Residents and visitors were advised not to enter an area within 3 km of the summit.

Piton de la Fournaise | Reunion Island (France)
OVPF reported that seismicity at Piton de la Fournaise increased on 21 April, and then significantly on 23 April. A seismic crisis which began at 2015 on 27 April was accompanied by rapid deformation, indicating magma migrating towards the surface. The onset of tremor at 2350 heralded the beginning of the eruption, though the first visual confirmation of the eruption was recorded by the webcams at 0015 on 28 April.
The eruption took place from fissures at Rivals Crater, and the SW flank of Dolomieu crater. During an overflight around 0830, scientists noted that four fissures had opened, one of which intersected the crater. Lava fountains less than 30 m high rose from the entire length of the fourth fissure, which was 300 m long and at a lower elevation that Rival Crater. Several small lava flows formed a larger flow which traveled 200-300 m S towards the Enclos Fouqué. Tremor steadily decreased throughout the day, and by the end of the day the lava flow had slowed in an area around 300 m away from the rampart. During 29-30 April tremor levels were relatively stable, with a few fluctuations related to morphological changes at the eruptive site such as cone building. During an overflight around 1020 on 30 April scientists observed three active vents (S of Rival Crater). The third vent, in a 5-m-high cone, was mostly closed over, though it continued to produced lava flows. The middle and most active cone was about 30-40 m long and 10-15 m high, and had a vent with a lava lake. Large bubbles of lava rose from the lake and exploded into lava fountains. Lava fountains from the northernmost vent rose no more than 15 m high. Lava flows had traveled 150 m and 1.2 km; the longer lava flow had reached the S rampart and traveled an additional 400 m E along it.

May 3