HVO: Plume hits 8,000 feet; PGV site hit, but no well danger

  • Lava erupts from a fissure in Kapoho, Hawaii Monday. The eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii sparked new safety warnings about toxic gas on the Big Island's southern coastline after lava began flowing into the ocean and setting off a chemical reaction. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to monitor highly active vents and lava flows. Fissure 20 is feeding one flow entering the ocean, while other fissures are supplying additional flows. Sulfur dioxide emissions remain high, causing elevated levels in areas downwind of the vents.

The explosive eruption that occurred at 3:45 this morning at the Kilauea summit resulted in an ash plume that reached a height of 8,000 feet. Ash has been reported in communities downwind of Kilauea. Take action to avoid exposure to ash.

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Fissures near Puna Geothermal Venture are active and producing lava slowly flowing onto the property. This activity has destroyed the former Hawaii Geothermal Project site area adjacent to PGV.

Due to this activity, the following policies are in effect:

• At this time this situation is being closely monitored. There is no immediate threat to any of the wells at PGV.

• Due to high sulfur dioxide emissions, all media escorts near the fissures are postponed until further notice for safety.

• Due to the laze hazard at the lava ocean entry stay out of the plume.

• Take precautions to protect yourself from ash fallout and hazardous gases.

• Residents in the affected area should be prepared to leave the area with little notice due to gas or lava inundation. Take action necessary to prepare ahead of time.

On roads, the following roads are closed:

• Highway 137 is closed between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road.

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• Kapoho and Kalapana Roads are open to residents only with identification.

An eruption community information meeting will be held at the Pahoa High cafeteria at 5:30 this the evening.