Eight fissure vents go quiet, though activity ‘probably not over yet’

  • A fissure erupts Friday morning at Leilani Avenue and Kaupiili Street. Courtesy of USGS.

Eight fissure vents in Leilani Estates “have gone quiet” though officials say activity is likely to pick up again.

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said the vents were not putting out lava as of about 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, and seismic activity also had decreased from Friday.

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“That’s the nature of the volcano especially in this case,” Magno said. ” Each (vent) went quiet, seismicity went down but we’re probably not over yet.”

Magno said the county is looking at letting some evacuees back to their property to briefly retrieve valuables as soon as Sunday if vents stay quiet. He said it also would depend on sulfur dioxide levels, which remain high in some areas.

A total of five homes have been destroyed as of Saturday afternoon.

The county closed the Pahoa pool Saturday to use as a hygiene station for evacuees. Shelters are open at the Pahoa and Keaau community centers. Residents evacuating should bring an emergency evacuation supply kit including necessary medicine, food, and necessary items for your comfort if possible.

The volcanic vents may disrupt county water lines, and water restrictions are in place for Leilani Estates, Kapoho Beach Lots, Lanipuna Gardens, Pohoiki Bay Estates, Green Lake Farm Lots, Vacationland and all customers on Pohoiki and Kalapana Kapoho Beach Roads, the county said. All Water Supply customers must immediately restrict water use to health and safety needs only.

Water spigots have been installed near the entrance of Lava Tree State Park and a water tanker has been placed in Vacationland for the public to access, according to the county.

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The U.S. Postal Service announced that evacuated residents can pick up their mail at the Pahoa Post Office. In addition, the downtown Hilo Post Office is closed until further notice due to structural damage from recent earthquakes.

Highway 132 from Highway 137 to Kaululaau Road also remains closed.

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