Puna warned series of quakes could indicate eruption is possible

May 04, 2018, 09:55
Puna warned series of quakes could indicate eruption is possible

According to the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, Pahoa-Pohoiki Road between Highway 132 (Kapoho Road) and Leilani Avenue is closed in both directions due to road damage.

Numerous cracks, some a few inches across, have been found in roads of Leilani Estates.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory offered resources for those who want to stay updated about Kilauea; sign up for notification emails from the Volcano Notification Service at this USGS website or sign up for the Civil Defense Emergency Notification System at the County of Hawaii website.

Nearby community centers have opened for shelter.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says there have been almost 500 earthquakes in the last couple of days.

Dozens of earthquakes are rattling the volcano as magma flows into a new area east of the Puu Oo vent.

Residents from Luana Street to the end of Leilani Estates are being asked to evacuate, Hawaii County Civil Defense confirms. About an hour later, evacuations began when lava began approaching the Leilani nearby subdivision.

Gov. David Ige said he's activated the Hawaii National Guard to help with evacuations and security.

Officials at the U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday raised the volcano's alert level to warning status, the highest possible, meaning a hazardous eruption is imminent, underway or suspected.

At 10:30 a.m. today, ground shaking from a preliminary magnitude-5.0 natural disaster south of Puu Oo caused rockfalls and possibly additional collapse into the Puu Oo crater on Kīlauea Volcano's east rift zone.

Earlier Thursday, seismic activity had flagged - a good sign - but officials continued to stress that residents along Kilauea's east rift zone should continue to prepare for a possible eruption. But this time, the magma moved elsewhere - about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of the east rift zone.

The last time an eruption affected the district of Puna was in 2014 when lava poured onto streets, damaging structures and causing emergency evacuations.

Most of Kilauea's activity has been nonexplosive, but a 1924 eruption spewed ash and 10-ton rocks into the sky, leaving one man dead.

Puu Oo's 1983 eruption resulted in lava fountains soaring over 1,500 feet high. During that eruption, lava spilled out and covered an area larger than 6 square miles.

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