Pohoiki boat ramp ‘totally blocked by sandbar’

  • This Monday aerial view shows the Pohoiki boat ramp remains intact, but access from it to the open bay has been cut off by a black sandbar that extends from the jetty to the shore. (U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY/COURTESY PHOTO)

HILO — “The Pohoiki boat ramp is totally blocked by a sandbar.”

Janet Snyder, spokeswoman for Mayor Harry Kim said Monday the boat ramp is still there; however, the black sand created by molten lava solidifying and being shattered as it hits the surf continues to be transported to the southwest by currents and accumulates in the Pohoiki small boat harbor.


Sluggish lava remains deep in the cone of fissure 8 in Kilauea volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, but the only red lava remaining is that oozing into the ocean at Kapoho and Ahalanui.

Snyder said Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists entered the restricted zone during the weekend.

“There’s some new cracks (that) probably opened during the Aug. 9 south flank quake,” Snyder said. “But the highest temperatures they measured over the weekend in these cracks are, like 300 (degrees) Fahrenheit. Most of them are 150 Fahrenheit or lower, just plain cold.”

Snyder said there was no subsidence of the crater floor at Halema‘uma‘u, at Kilauea’s summit, and “virtually no quakes, only mild steaming,” during the weekend.

“The seismicity’s down to three small quakes, really small. The maximum was at (magnitude) 2.1, and you’re not going to feel that unless you’re right on top of it,” she said.


As of Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency had registered 2,688 Hawaii Island residents for possible claims because of lava, with $6,345,312 in funding approved. The deadline to register with FEMA was extended until Sept. 12.

A community meeting on the status of the lava emergency is scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Pahoa High School cafeteria.

  1. diverdave August 14, 2018 6:52 am Reply

    So, the question is: Will the very people that claim that we should never alter “Pele’s work” be hypocrites and say that it is OK to remove the sand bar in order to use the boat ramp again?

  2. antifaHI August 14, 2018 9:49 pm Reply

    Appears to become a nice beach.

  3. Colin12345 August 31, 2018 7:08 am Reply

    The next step is to get a good understanding of whether this new beach is stable in its presence, or possibly subject to erosion and displacement by high surf in the next year, two, or more. Only then can choices be known and plans made, one way or another. Lots of options to live and love with it, a few problematic and expensive ones to restore the ramp. The situation could be very different in a year or two, if storm surf takes the sand further down. It would be good to get a few oceanographers down there and give the public a reasoned outlook. A great project for UH-Manoa and NOAA.

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