Eruption continues with little change

  • Fissure 8 lava flows in an open channel all the way to the ocean in this Monday photo. Kapoho Crater is the vegetated hill on the right side of the photograph. Ocean entry plume seen in the distance. (USGS/Special to West Hawaii Today)
  • Fissure 8 cone and channelized lava flow is seen in this Monday photo. (USGS/Special to West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — Lava continues to flows into the ocean at Kapoho Bay, scientists with Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said Monday morning.

Encircled by a spatter cone, Fissure 8 continues to feed lava into a well-established channel that flows to the ocean at Kapoho, HVO said. Occasionally, minor amounts of lava briefly spilled over the channel levees.

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Scientists said the lava flow is rather broad at the coast and lava is entering the ocean at a single point with an upwelling area offshore and with laze blown onshore.

Meanwhile, no tsunami was generated by a magnitude-5.3 earthquake Monday morning in the summit region of Kilauea volcano.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the temblor, which occurred at 6:13 a.m. was likely associated with a summit eruption. Though some areas may have experienced strong shaking, officials said there was no tsunami expected.

HVO said that nearby residents may have heard a roaring followed by a low gas plume emerging from Halema‘uma‘u crater. The plume was blown downwind at about 1,000 feet above ground level.

Seismicity abruptly dropped as it commonly does after such events, and scientists expect it to begin increasing during the day. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit.

Scientists said that magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low in the area with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor. Higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.

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HVO cautioned that additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible, noting residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Since the start of the eruption in early May in Leilani Estates, 5,914 acres or 9.25 square miles of land have now been impacted by lava flows, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense. A total of 533 homes have been destroyed.