Ash fall advisory issued for Kau District

  • An ash plume from Halemaumau Crater on Tuesday rises thousands of feet in the sky. (Courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory)
  • An ash plume from Halemaumau Crater on Tuesday rises thousands of feet in the sky. (Courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory)
  • Volcanic gases rise from active fissures near Pahoa, Hawaii on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
  • An ash plume from Halemaumau Crater on Tuesday rises thousands of feet in the sky. (Courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory)

An ash fall advisory has been posted for the Kau District until 6 p.m.

The advisory comes after Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported rocks falls and gas explosions from Halemaumau Crater, located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Just before 10:30 a.m. today, the Hawaii County Civil Defense stated an ash plume was headed downstream across the Kau District along Highway 11 to Pahala.

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NWS radar and pilot reports indicate the top of the ash cloud is as high as 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level, but this may be expected to vary depending on the vigor of activity and wind conditions, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Ash emission from the Kilauea summit vent will likely vary with periods of increased and decreased intensity depending on the occurrence of rockfalls into the vent and other changes within the vent.

At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent.

Areas affected by the ash are Wood Valley, Pahala, Punaluu, Naalehu and Hawaiian Oceanview Estates. Residents are advised to drive with caution.

At about 1 p.m., the Civil Defense reported fissure 20 opened. Fissure 17 is the only active flow, located on Highway 130 from Malama Street to Kamaili Road.

According to the National Weather Service an ash fall advisory means that large amounts of ash will be deposited in the advisory area. Persons with respiratory illnesses should remain indoors to avoid inhaling the ash particles and all persons outside should cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth.

For health and safety recommendations, visit the Hawaii Interagency Dashboard at https://vog.ivhhn.org.

Officials also advise of the following:

• Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant.

• Those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.

• Motorists are advised to drive with caution.

Due to the volcanic activity, the following are issued:

• The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced that Highway 130 work continues from Malama Street to Kamaili Road. Expect opening later today for local traffic only.

• Highway 132 is closed at Pohoiki Road intersection and a checkpoint is located on Highway 130 by Pahoa High School. Only local traffic allowed beyond all roadblocks.

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• Hawaii Fire Department reports that air quality is still condition RED around fissures in the southeast area of Lanipuna Gardens and surrounding farm lots on Pohoiki Road. Condition RED means immediate danger to health so take action to limit further exposure. Severe conditions may exist such as choking and inability to breathe. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas from fissures are especially dangerous for elderly, children/babies and people with respiratory problems.

County, state and federal partners continue to monitor the situation. You will be informed of any conditions that affect your safety.

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